Waze UK/ EU data reveals when and where to avoid driving this summer following today’s news that passenger delays at European airports will continue

With school holidays underway, parents everywhere are thinking up ways to avoid sitting in traffic listening to hours of “Are we there yet?”. Waze, the Google owned real-time sat nav app, released data today set to help holidaymakers plan their summer travel as queues lengthen in EU airports. The research lists the top 8 worst summer roads in the UK and reveals the best and worst times to drive in the UK and Europe.


The M5 – to and from Devon and Cornwall

The A458 - connecting the West Midlands with Mid Wales
The A30 - running from London to Cornwall

The M4 – between Cardiff and Swansea

The A2070 – heading to Kent’s Camber Sands

The M23 – to Brighton

The A590 – the main conduit to the Lake District

The M55 – between Preston and Blackpool

Waze also reveals the worst dates to drive in the UK and Europe, citing data gathered from the last 2 years.

Waze advises motorists who can’t dodge these dates to plan their route well in advance. Drivers are encouraged to schedule the journey before they set off, which will help them spot roadworks and likely traffic jams so that they get on the fastest routes. Even if revisiting a favourite spot, drivers abroad are advised to do their research and prepare for busy highways – and driving on the opposite side of the road!  

Waze data reveals that on the 5th of August weekend in Italy, speeds on this weekend are expected to dip by 25%, with average speeds dropping from 54 km/h to 40k/h as drivers clog up the roads. Many drivers in Italy will embark on longer driver over the weekend, averaging 90km driven on Saturday and Sunday.

Similarly, this weekend in France, we are expecting a record number of traffic jam reports. Over this same weekend last year, we saw 400,000 jams recorded, with an increase of 20% on normal weekend driving patters. Waze are advising drivers to avoid the worst of the traffic by steering clear of the roads between 11am and 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

And if you’re driving in Spain, traffic will peak at 6pm on the 5th and 6th of August. Drivers should expect heavy traffic, as 16% more users will turn to Waze to circumvent the tailbacks.

The school holiday season will see a final carmageddon on the road with August bank holiday set to be the busiest ever. Traffic will be at its worst on bank holiday Friday from 3pm with millions making their getaway to the coast to make the most of the long weekend. Waze data indicates that drives will be on average 26% longer on the 25th August than an average Friday.

Drivers should expect 25% longer wait times than a normal weekend. Queues are set to peak at 5pm on Monday, as well as 3pm on Friday, so avoiding these times is key to missing the worst of the traffic. And those driving to Scotland should be aware that on the last weekend of August, there are around 3 times more trips going to Edinburgh than a usual June or September weekend.

Finlay Clark, Head of Waze UK, says:

“With millions making the most of the summer season, driving to airports and heading to the coast for staycations, it is no surprise that many will hit long delays in the car along the way. Waze’s live updates give the most accurate ETAs – drivers can schedule the fastest route before setting off to see exactly how long the journey will take.

“We advise Wazers to check for live traffic updates from millions of fellow drivers to avoid the worst of the congestion. If you find yourself in traffic, the app provides peace of mind by suggesting the fastest and most optimal route possible to any destination. This can be particularly useful in preventing you from getting stressed if you’re driving abroad and of course, losing any extra time that you could be spending out of the car enjoying the summer break.”

Join this community of drivers today by downloading the free Waze app for iOs or Android at www.waze.com/get.