A perfect storm of rail engineering works, holiday traffic and good weather will see journey times on some roads double.
INRIX, the traffic information provider, estimates worst affected hotspots will be twice as busy as non-holiday times.
Half hour journeys around the west of the M25 near Heathrow Airport are expected to take and hour, while delays on the M4 heading out of London towards the West Country of up to an hour.
This year’s busiest periods will be on Thursday 17th April with traffic levels barely dropping for the entire day.
Meanwhile, major railway engineering projects on the East and West Coast Mainlines and the Great Western Mainline this Easter weekend will result in an increase in vehicles on the roads causing the following delays:
- Up to a one-hour delay on a typical journey from London to Leeds via the M1
- At least 30 minutes added to a typical journey along the M4 from London to Bristol
- Up to a one-hour delay on a typical journey from London to Manchester using the M1 and M6
Best and worst travel times
Thursday April 17th
Best time: Between 10am and 12pm Worst time: Between 4pm and 5pm
Friday April 18th
Best time: Before 10am and after 5pm Worst time: 12pm
Monday April 21st
Best time: Before 10am and after 6pm
Worst time: 11am
Top 10 traffic hotspots with alternative routes in brackets
- M4 between Hants. & West Country 60 minutes (M3 and A303)
- M25 between J7 and J21A 40 minutes (Non-M’way routes)
- A303 Amesbury 30 minutes from A36 to A338 (None)
- M55 between Preston and Blackpool 30 minutes (None)
- A456 between M5 and Kidderminster 30 minutes (None)
- M4 between London and Reading 25 minutes (M3 and A33)
- M25 J5 Sevenoaks 20 minutes from J3 to J7 (M26 and M20)
- M1 between J1 and Luton Airport 15 minutes (A1(M) and A505)
- M6 between J8 and J10A 15 minutes (J6 to J11 M6 Toll)
- M1 between J21 and J28 15 minutes (A6)
INRIX Traffic Analyst Chris Lambert says the increased road use is a good sign the economy is on the up.
“As much as traffic frustrates those on the road, increasing congestion is a sign that the economy is recovering as businesses deliver more goods, new car sales increase and more people use their car," he added.
"More Brits going on holiday combined with extensive engineering works on the rail network is going to result in exceptionally heavy congestion this Easter weekend.”
RAC spokesman Simon Williams, said: “With the hint of better weather ahead people will be heading to the coast and countryside to make the most of the Easter break, which will create all kinds of traffic issues.
"With many schools going back on Tuesday 22nd April, we are expecting a busy bank holiday Monday rush home as people take to the roads en masse.
"We would advise drivers to allow plenty of time for their journeys, and to take note of INRIX’s alternative routes for the worst congested areas over the Easter period, to avoid getting stuck in the inevitable delays.”