Motorists are being warned to expect heavy traffic this weekend as the school holidays kick off.

The RAC is predicting more than 34 million journeys will be made over the next fortnight, of which 9 million are expected to be undertaken between Friday (July 20) and Sunday (July 22).

According to the motoring organisation, which surveyed 2,300 motorists, traffic will peak on Friday, with around 3.8 million extra motorists setting off on holiday while commuters try travel to and from work. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be quieter, because the holiday traffic won’t mix with commuters, but 3.2 million leisure trips are expected on Saturday, and 2.2 million on Sunday.

The roads with the highest traffic are expected to be the M40, the M5 and the M25, while tailbacks are also predicted on the M1 and A303.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “This weekend tends to be one of the busiest on the roads for leisure journeys, second only to Easter and Christmas. On some popular routes, this may well mean gridlock, especially through the second half of Friday when commuters and holidaymakers will be sharing space on the same stretches of the UK’s roads. As a result, it will almost certainly feel like a ‘frantic Friday’ for some.

“According to our research, the next peak after this weekend will be Saturday, July 28, by which time the vast majority of schools in England and Wales will have broken up for the summer. And if the weather remains fine, that could lead to many more people deciding to jump in the car to enjoy a short-notice ‘staycation’, adding to the weight of traffic.”

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