Motorists looking to get away for the Bank Holiday weekend have been urged to travel after 9pm on Friday to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams along popular routes.

Network Rail is also carrying out more than 400 engineering works along many of its routes across the country, further compounding the misery of those hoping for a smooth journey this weekend.

Tourism experts predict a record 16.5 million Britons will enjoy a domestic getaway this weekend, only increasing pressure on Britain's roads and rail network.

What should motorists expect on the Bank Holiday weekend?

Friday is expected to be the worst day for traffic jams as five million Britons are expected to take the roads. Between 11am and 6.30pm is expected to be the busiest time.

The longest delays are predicted to be on the M25 anti-clockwise from Junction 4 at Orpington/ Bromley to Junction 1 at Swanscombe/ Dartford at around 3.15pm, with journeys taking 55 minutes longer than normal.

A northbound stretch of the M6 from Junction 18 at Northwich/Chester to Junction 24 at St Helens is estimated to have 54-minute hold-ups at around 2pm.

Coastal resorts and countryside beauty spots are also likely to be among the busiest.

The best time to hit the roads will be after 9pm, but for some travelling longer distances, this might not be feasible.

Ben Aldous, from RAC, said: "For many people, this coming weekend is the last chance to enjoy a long weekend this side of Christmas.

“With the weather improving, that’s likely to mean a lot of cars on the road heading to popular tourist destinations.

“A lot of the breakdowns we expect to see this weekend are preventable, so it’s vital drivers check over their car before setting out.”

A graphic which shows some of the engineering works on Network Rail on the Bank Holiday weekend. Credit: PA Graphics

Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at Inrix, said: “Bank holidays have historically been one of the busiest times for road trips, and this year drivers could even see record-level travel delays.

“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”

Highways England said 97 per cent of its motorways and A-roads are roadworks free for this Bank Holiday.

What should rail passengers expect?

East Coast Main Line passengers are being urged to avoid the line this weekend.

London North Eastern Railways (LNER) has issued a "do not travel" warning for the route between London and Scotland via York on Saturday and Sunday.

This is due to King's Cross station being closed as part of a major redevelopment project, which is stopping any trains running between London and Peterborough.

Track replacement works are ongoing near Macclesfield and Milton Keynes, which will reduce the number of trains leaving and entering Euston via the West Coast Main Line.

Major upgrade works will also take place at Newark, Nottinghamshire, affecting East Midlands Railway’s Lincoln services to and from Leicester and Nottingham.

In total, 448 engineering works are being carried out by Network Rail this weekend.

Rail works are carried out on Bank Holidays as "far fewer people" use their services in comparison to normal working days, Network Rail said.

Among this weekend's major events are Notting Hill Carnival in London, Edinburgh Fringe festival, Reading and Leeds festivals, Manchester Pride and Creamfields festival.