Christmas is fast approaching, and it’s easy to forget where so many of the things we rely on for a successful holiday come from and how they get to where they are. From the presents under the tree to the Christmas dinner on the table, it’s more than likely that these will have been transported to stores by HGV drivers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that UK roads experience a manic rush during the festive season. Commercial drivers are working hard to deliver your Christmas essentials on time, and of course, almost everyone will be travelling at some point to see loved ones to celebrate. Add in the typical winter weather conditions and it means HGV drivers – and everyone else – must take extra caution when driving during the holidays.
We analysed ONS data on road congestion between 2017 to 2020, as well as One Network data on planned roadworks across the most congested areas between now and the end of the year. Both of these allowed us to determine which major routes in the UK typically see the most delays for drivers, as well as which roads could potentially face more delays than usual.
If you’re driving home for Christmas or working during the festive season, you can find out more about the UK’s top 20 busiest roads in our interactive map below.
In 2020, 3399 HGVs were involved in road accidents, and these ranged from severe to fatal. Within this figure, based on involvement rates per billion vehicle miles, 81.7 occurred on motorways, and 267.8 occurred on A roads. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared ahead of any journey you’re taking this Christmas, whether it’s for work, or you’re driving home for the holidays – especially when driving in winter.
Planning ahead and knowing which roads to avoid this Christmas, will make driving home for the holidays, as well as working during the festivities a more smooth-sailing ride. And following our tips will help prepare your HGV if you happen to find yourself in a traffic jam this Christmas. From taking the correct safety measures to being mindful of other road users, you can reduce the probability of a road accident during this busy period. However, by having knowledge of the 25 busiest roads during the holidays, you can plan accordingly to deliver Christmas essentials, and get home promptly to spend festivities with loved ones.
Data was sourced using ONS data on road congestion in the last four years to determine:
From this, we created a spreadsheet that showcased the top 25 busiest roads in the UK during Christmas. And for each road, we located which region they were in as well their local authority. We also used the One Network map to pull data on planned roadworks around the most congested roads before the new year.
Data from both sources allowed us to not only reveal which roads to avoid this Christmas, but whether these roads could see more delays than the usual due to roadworks.