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Christmas getaway

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As the Christmas holidays are fast approaching or in some cases already started UK roads, airports and trains are expected to be busy with people going away for Christmas.

It is expected there will be around 18 million cars on the roads during the holidays with Thursday December 22nd and Friday December 23rd likely to be the busiest days.

The AA have urged drivers to take extra car when travelling because of the volume of traffic and unplanned weather that is expected.

The roads expected to be busy are the M1 in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, the M4 between London and Newbury in Berkshire, the M25 around London and the M4 and M5 in the West Country.

Keith Miller, AA patrolman of the year, said: “Although the current weather forecast for Christmas isn't as bad as last year, the outlook is still quite unsettled which means road conditions can be unpredictable.

“The Christmas period is always busy, so allow extra time for your journey and keep a close eye on weather and traffic reports before departing.”

Many people will be travelling to see friends and family in time for Christmas and the New Year with around 425 million people travelling abroad.

The busiest airports will see 1.7 million travellers leaving Heathrow airport, Stanstead, Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow, the most popular destinations are New York, Dubai, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris.

Around 4.25 million people will be staying home this Christmas with many using the trains but my face disruption because of work being carried out on the rail network affecting Birmingham New station and Reading station in Berkshire.   

The tube strike on Boxing Day is also set to cause major disruption in the capital with many people visiting family, friends and those hoping to shop will not be able to use the tube lines.

The strike is based around pay and will see 3,500 tube drivers taking four days off for the strike with Boxing Day being the main day as it is well known for commuters to travel into London on Boxing Day for the all important sales.

Retailers are estimated to suffer significantly from the strike losing thousands of pounds in and around London; however tubes and buses around London will be free on New Year’s Eve from 11.45pm until 4.30am on New Year’s Day which is hoped to ease the backlash during the festive season.

Wherever your destinations are this Christmas and New Year be sure to take care on the roads and leave plenty of time to get to your destination.

© Copyright Autonet Insurance

By Amanda Bainbridge