motorway uk
Heavy traffic is expected over the August bank holiday weekendGetty

This weekend is the last three-day break before Christmas and thousands of people will take to the roads for a getaway to make the most of the bank holiday.

James Pollard, traffic broadcaster at Trafficmaster, believes the traffic is likely to be at its worst today.

"Although during holiday periods we don't see the levels of congestion during rush-hour periods as you'd expect during term times, we're expecting to see heavy holiday traffic from mid-morning on Friday, which is likely to have a substantial impact on a number of routes towards the end of the day," he said.

Road

The busiest routes will include the M4 between London and south Wales, especially towards Bristol and the intersection with the M5. The M6 through the West Midlands and into Lancashire, towards the Lake District is also expected to have heavy traffic.

Other busy areas:

  • The western sector of the M25, between junctions 12 (M3) and 15 (M4), with motorists heading towards or from the Hampshire and Dorset coast and the West Country.
  • The M5 between Bristol and Exeter. This is a main holiday route towards the West Country and the south west.
  • The M3/M27/A31 between the M25 and the New Forest. The A31 through the New Forest can get pretty busy very quickly in the event of any incidents, with very few alternative routes for drivers to choose from.

Roadworks

Some of the major roadworks' schemes may be suspended for part of or the duration of the weekend. However, areas that might be affected will include the M1 in Derbyshire, in both directions between junctions 28 (Mansfield) and 31 (Sheffield) and in both directions towards junction 19, according to Trafficmaster.

The M6 in Staffordshire may also be affected in both directions between junctions 10a (M54) and 14 (Stafford), as well as the M5 in Worcestershire in both directions between junctions 4a (M42) and 7 (Worcester) and the A34 in Oxfordshire between the M40 and the M4.

Rail

Rail passengers travelling between Manchester, Stockport and London are set for a bank holiday weekend of travel disruption.

The West Coast Mainline will be shut between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central all weekend in the last of three closures throughout August due to improvement works around Watford.

Transport for London

The Notting Hill Carnival is taking place on Sunday and bank holiday Monday, so those travelling by public transport are encouraged to plan ahead.

On London Underground, Jubilee line trains are not stopping at Bond Street station until early December because of station improvement works.

The Northern line will be partly suspended on Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday between Edgware and Hampstead due to track replacement work in the Hendon Central area.

The Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines will be partly suspended. The London Overground will be partly suspended between South Tottenham and Barking on Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday owing to Network Rail track work.

Please visit tfl.gov.uk for more information.

Weather

Large areas of the country will be hit by showers, including northern parts of the UK.

Areas of northern England and Scotland will see temperatures as low as 14C but in the south, it will stay around 18C.

Monday will see widespread rain across the entire country and earlier this week, it was reported that the sunny spell would end, as Arctic winds make it the coldest spell of August weather for a century.