Millions of beleaguered motorists have been stuck in traffic in sweltering heat today as they make their way home after the bank holiday.
Motorways up and down the UK have ground to a halt, as some 18 million cars ventured out over the last long weekend of summer.
Today saw the hottest August bank holiday Monday on record with temperatures reaching a staggering 84F (29C) – leading to a surge in cars heading to coastal hotspots.
Picture shows the heavy traffic on the A14 near Cambridge as motorists returned home after one of the hottest Bank Holidays on record
There was heavy traffic on the M62 after a man died when he fell from Rainbow Bridge near Scammonden Dam at junction 23
Millions of beleaguered motorists have been stuck in traffic in sweltering heat today as they make their way home after the bank holiday
Police today closed the M62 near Huddersfield after a man fell from a bridge onto the carriageway.
And all lanes of the M5 near Somerset were closed this morning following a crash involving a lorry and a car.
A caravan crash on the A55 towards Chester today led to 10 miles of tailbacks.
There are also delays across coastal spots in Hampshire and West Sussex – including the M25 and M27 – as people make their way to the beach, with sunseekers visiting Skegness reporting 10 mile queues getting into the town centre.
Also busy is the M5 from Weston-super-Mare to Bridgewater, the M6 Preston to Morecambe and around Stoke-on-Trent, the M25, M4, and the M3 near Southampton, the M1 around St Albans and the M23 coming off the M25.
However the RAC warns the roads could get busy again this evening as people making their journeys later.
Stricken motorists have taken to social media to share their despair as they sit in traffic jams up and down the UK.
Motorways up and down the UK have ground to a halt, as some 18 million cars ventured out over the last long weekend of summer (pictured: The A14 near Cambridge)
This map using data from Traffic England shows severe traffic incidents across the UK today
Emma Fletcher wrote on Twitter: ‘If you haven’t been stuck in traffic have you even had a bank holiday?!’ while another tweeted: ‘Trapped in a car with my dad ranting about traffic. On bank holiday Monday. Send help.’
Jessica Price wrote: ‘Spending my bank holiday sat in standstill traffic on the M25. And it’s 33C outside. Great.’
TRAFFIC JAMS ON SCORCHING BANK HOLIDAY
Thousands of families basked in glorious sunshine on the hottest August bank holiday Monday on record with temperatures peaking at a tropical 29C.
The scorching weather attracted about 100,000 sun worshippers to the seven miles of sandy beaches in Bournemouth, Dorset.
The seafront car parks were full well before lunchtime and people have been queuing for ice creams throughout the day.
Some beat the queues by getting to the beach by 8am and the resort’s 3,000 deckchairs and 1,800 sunbeds were rented out.
And the M5 towards Exeter, the M6 and A590 around the Lake District, the M3 towards Bournemouth and the M1 north from London are expected to see one of the busiest days of the year.
According to the RAC, more than 18 million separate getaways by road were expected to take place over the weekend.
With many visiting friends and family over the long weekend, the number of leisure-based car trips was anticipated to be higher than in 2016, with today likely to be the busiest on the roads.
Today is set to be the most frantic day for travel with around five million leisure journeys planned – a year-on-year increase of one million.
The RAC says the busiest roads include:
- M4, M5 and A303 towards the west
- Routes from Northern England to North Wales
- M56 and A55 in the north-west
- M6 and A590 around the Lake District
- A47 between the Midlands and Norfolk
- A2, M2 and M20 for Dover, Channel Tunnel and Eurostar
- Roads around all major airports.
Caroline Langfield posted this image of tailbacks on the A1 northbound at junction 44 in Leeds
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘While summer appears to have taken a leave of absence for many of us, our figures suggest drivers are undeterred and are still keen to make the most of the long weekend to spend time with friends and family in the UK.’
And traffic chaos was worsened after rail passengers were advised to stay home this weekend as record engineering works paralyse busy routes over the Bank Holiday.
On Friday evening, just 25 per cent of trains on certain lines operated by South Western Railways – formerly South West Trains – were running, a spokesperson confirmed.
West Yorkshire Police asked drivers to avoid the M62 near Huddersfield following the incident near Scammonden Dam this morning.
Officers were called to the Rainbow Bridge at junction 23 at about 6.51am following a report of a man in distress above the carriageway.
Officers closed the road but at 7.13am the man fell onto the road surface and died.
Exasperated motorists have taken to Twitter to share their pain as they spend the end of the bank holiday in traffic