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Top 12 Traffic Hotspots of the Summer Holidays

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Don’t let congested holiday traffic put the blues on your holiday

It’s summer time and the school holiday fun is just beginning.  Whether you’re jetting off to the airport on a family holiday overseas, or joining the thousands of UK families that choose to stay put and bask in the abundance of holiday breaks on offer. One thing is for sure, at some point on your journey you are likely to hit traffic congestion as other like-minded families hit the roads for the summer holiday season.  Check out our advice on avoiding the summer holiday travel pitfalls and you can wipe the summer time blues off your holiday playlist.

Busiest Holiday Routes

The Highways Agency have identified the top 12 congested roads during the summer holidays based on their previous stats and planned road works.

Head­ing from or to: Roads
York­shire & North East
  • M1 junc­tion 42 to 44 Leeds
North West
  • A66 M6 to West Coast
  • M56 junc­tion 5 to junc­tion 7 (Man­ches­ter Air­port)
The Mid­lands
  • A40 M50 to Wales
East of England
  • A14 Birm­ing­ham to East Coast
  • A47 East to Great Yarmouth
South East
  • M20 junc­tion 4 to 8 – Lon­don to Dover/Folkestone
  • M25 junc­tion 13 to 15 – Heathrow
  • M25 J5 to J9 — Gatwick
South West
  • A303 Lon­don to South West
  • A38 Exeter to Corn­wall
  • A30 Exeter to Corn­wall

For more information on road networks and traffic hotspots, visit the highways agency website.

How To Avoid Holiday Traffic

  • Forecast the traffic before you travel; where possible avoid peak times to travel.  Go early or late and you can take hours off your journey.  If you do happen to stumble into congestion, console yourself that you have avoided the worst of it.  Why not try some of our in-car activity ideas to kill time and add a little build up to your holiday.  Before you know it you will be nearly at your destination and raring to go.
  • Get to know your route and alternative routes
    Plan, Plan, Plan, you can’t do enough of this.  How many times have you sat in queues on the motorway because you don’t have the knowledge to navigate around congestion on alternative roads.  Also check out your sat nav settings – Sat navs are getting cleverer and can steer you around traffic congestion quickly and easily.  So get reading that instruction manual.
  • Don’t suffer a breakdown
    Ever thought it might be you causing the traffic chaos?  Make sure you’re covered by a breakdown service and before you travel use our summer holiday car check guide to ensure your car is in top tip condition for a long journey.


Finally relax – enjoy your holiday and don’t get caught up in the stress of the holiday season.  If you have recently been on holiday, do you have a holiday traffic tale to tell?  Let us know your experience.

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