Drivers are being told to prepare for long queues across the UK, as millions are set to take to roads over the extended Christmas weekend.
With the festive season generally known to make roads nationwide busier than usual, travel warnings have now been issued to all those making Christmas getaway trips for the holidays – with a study of 2,100 drivers by the RAC and INRIX suggesting that 21 million journeys are planned before Christmas Eve arrives.
With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, figures show that leisure traffic levels will climb slowly this week, before it jumps by a whopping 43% from 2.2 million journeys on Thursday 21, to 3.2 million on Friday 22 December.
The period covering Friday 22 and Christmas Eve is expected to see the most leisure journeys by car, according to the RAC – with an estimated 13.5 million this year, up 20% from the same period last year.
While Christmas Eve getaways match what’s been dubbed ‘Frantic Friday’ trips at 3.2 million, the reality is Friday will be “far busier”, the RAC warns, as those heading off for festivities share the roads with commuters and parents collecting the kids from school.
Roads will also be busy on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, as you’d probably expect.
RAC and INRIX figures show that an average of 3.5 million trips are expected on these two days, but any travel experts say serious delays should be “less of a risk without the normal mix of commercial, commuter, and school traffic”.
So, what kinds of delays are we talking then? And which motorways across the UK should motorists be most expecting to come up against traffic and long queues?
Well, data from transport analytics specialists indicates that there are likely to be daily delays of around 40 minutes between Friday 22 and Christmas Eve on the M25 clockwise west of Greater London, while the worst queues – which could be up to an hour – is expected along the M25 clockwise between the M23 for Gatwick, and the M40 for Birmingham on the Saturday 23 December.
One Greater Manchester motorway has been identified as a ‘festive getaway’ hotspot / Credit – Vladimir Proskurovskiy (via Unsplash)
Looking further afield, the M1 north between Woburn to Daventry, and the M6 south from Wigan to Stafford, is predicted to be “hit the hardest with delays” in the run-up to Christmas Day.
When it comes to the busiest times of day on the UK’s roads, 12pm to 2pm has been identified as the the most hectic time to travel across most major routes during the pre-Christmas weekend – with both the RAC and INRIX urging drivers to avoid lunchtime journeys.
The best times to travel will be before 11am and after 6pm on both the 22 and 23 December, as this is when it’s hoped drivers will be able to make it home for Christmas with slightly fewer tailbacks.
Featured Image – RAC
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
The short trailer gives a glimpse at the history of the Brunswick Mill space and what it’s set to become.
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
The bathroom plans.‘New with the old’ bedroom-designs.A first look inside the Brunswick Mill flats. (Credit: Supplied)
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.