Traffic gridlock expected on Kent roads as county begins great Christmas getaway
Kent's roads are expected to come to a standstill today with heavy delays as motorists begin the Christmas getaway.
Last-minute shoppers heading to town centres and shopping centres are also feared to add to the gridlock, with the evening rush-hour also predicted to start earlier than usual from 3pm.
The Highways Agency is working to lift or complete most of its roadworks in the county over the next few days in a bid to ease congestion.
Heavy traffic is expected on the county's roads for the Christmas getaway. Picture: Library image
Andrew Broughton, from the organisation, said: "We'll be expecting a lot of traffic on the M20 down to the Port of Dover, but in general it's going to be busy on all of the roads."
He advised: "Plan your journeys in advance and check weather conditions before setting off."
It has left organisations such as the AA urging drivers to consider their routes to avoid getting stuck in jams.
"We will see an earlier rush hour, probably starting from 3pm or 4pm and this will extend through to this evening..." - Gavin Hill-Smith, from the AA
Gavin Hill-Smith, from the motoring company, said: "As everyone knows, Christmas is always one of the busiest times of the year on the roads.
"We will see an earlier rush-hour, probably starting from 3pm or 4pm and this will extend through to this evening. The main thing to do is follow traffic and weather reports and prepare accordingly."
But he said because of the day Christmas falls on this year, the roads are due to be much clearer than usual over the festive period.
Mr Hill-Smith added: "This year's going to be slightly different. As Christmas Day itself falls on Wednesday, we're expecting a lot of people to take Monday and Christmas Eve off.
"New Year's Day itself falls on the Wednesday after so a lot of people taking a few days annual leave actually have a full two weeks off work. So we are expecting the getaway traffic to be a bit more smooth and spread out."
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