Motorists face jams as bank holiday traffic peaks

Reading festival goer in mud
Image caption Festival-goers at Reading and Leeds may find the weekend will becomes less muddy

Drivers have been held in long traffic delays as the bank holiday getaway peaks, motoring organisations say.

Congestion, which began to build up on major routes on Friday afternoon, has increased steadily and is expected to ease late on Saturday afternoon.

This weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year with some 16 million cars expected on the roads.

The weather for the bank holiday is set to be a mix of sunshine and showers, according to the BBC weather centre.

Graham Smith, of AA Roadwatch, said the traffic was "horrendous", and was particularly heavy around the M25 west of London, the A303 and the M5 through Somerset, along with the M6 north of Birmingham and parts of the M1 and A61.

In the build-up to the bank holiday, about 340 miles of roadworks were completed or suspended to help ease congestion.

On the trains, engineering work between Wolverhampton and Stafford has hit services run by Arriva Trains Wales, CrossCountry, London Midland and Virgin, with buses replacing trains on some sections of the West Coast Main Line.

'Saturday sunshine'

As the weather forecast improved after the heavy downpours earlier on in the week, thousands of music fans headed to the Reading and Leeds festivals armed with wellies and suntan lotion.

BBC weather forecaster Matt Taylor said the long weekend would see a mixture of sunshine and showers, with some of them being on the heavy side.

He said the best place for Saturday sunshine would be south-west England.

People heading to Notting Hill Carnival in west London on Monday can expect it to be mostly dry with sunny spells, with maximum temperatures of 20C (68F) in London and Cardiff, 18C (64.4F) in Belfast and 17C (62.6F) in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, estimates suggested some 1.8 million Britons would leave the country over the weekend.

Around 840,000 people were expected to pass through London's Heathrow airport, with popular destinations being New York, Dubai, Paris, Dublin and Los Angeles.

Another 120,000 passengers were expected to travel to the continent with train company Eurostar over the weekend.

Monday is not a holiday in Scotland, which has its August break at the beginning of the month.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites