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TonyS
Hi,

Every now and then we need to make a run down South for family business. It's 500 miles and with a fair wind that takes us just over 8 hours using M74 / M6 / M5 and M50. However the route is plagued with roadworks, closures, rush hour standstills etc. The last trip was particularly bad to the extent that I think it's now unwise to simply assume we can use that route and make tolerable progress, or at least not without some thought and some fall back plans.

For those who regularly use any part of this route, can anyone suggest particularly good or bad days, or times of day that should be aimed for or avoided? We were thinking maybe travel overnight instead of through the day, but I think some of the roadworks close more of the motorway overnight. Last trip was on a Friday, and it's already been suggested that we should avoid that day. Also suggestions that it might be better at weekends (but for a typical trip we couldn't do both ways on a weekend)

Any comments welcome. I don't think the situation is really ever going to change, over the last five or six years it's just got worse and I see they're now closing and reworking some of the stretches that have already been converted to Smart Motorway.

Thanks, Tony S
TMC Towcester
I do similar journey a couple of times a year M1/M6/M74/M80/A90. I tried overnight but as you say there's a lot of overnight 'work' which resulted in one lane only and therefore queues.

Apart from the obvious school holiday and public holiday avoidance I usually leave Bucks a t 0830 on any weekday and get to Aberdeen around 1600-1700. Coming back I leave mid-late morning to get home around 1830. 500 miles is always going to result in a rush-hour somewhere and of course roadworks. I find a one-stop journey works for me....hopefully you haven't got an EV or it'll be a couple of days!!
nigelbb
Any journey on motorways is far easier on a Sunday.
Incandescent
First of all, you can check the motorway situation on "Traffic England"

https://www.trafficengland.com/

I always check before leaving home if my journey involves a motorway. You can also check on roadworks current and planned.

Secondly, the motorway network is very quiet from about 01.00 on a Sunday. Friday is usually a very bad day, with the whole world and his uncles on the move !

As you mention using the M50 as your last motorway, it suggest you're making for somewhere in South Wales. I hesitate to suggest driving down the A49 south of Shrewsbury, because it is so slow, but not usually jammed up..


Gerfc1
Also Motorway closures around Glasgow happen a lot overnight and you have to plan for that usually on Traffic Scotland website showing planned closure.

Also there is the convoy system crawling at 10mph.
Ahelpinggand
Check football times as well

M5 J2 and surrounding area is hell when west brom are playing.

Also depends on the vehicle used. If anything over a CDV I'd use M5/M4 if travelling overnight instead of M50 due to it being DC from Ross down to M4
DancingDad
If going near Birmingham in rush hour, consider M6/M6 Toll/M42/M5 or vice versa
Southbound J11...J8 (m5) can be a nightmare and northbound, M5 J1-M6 the same (or further back)
Will cost the toll but better then sitting looking at the scenery around Walsall, West Brom and the lorry driver next to you picking his nose.
TonyS
Thanks, will need to consider what's been said. We did once take the A49 instead of M5 & M50, I can't remember the reason now, maybe M5 was virtually shut on that day. Last trip we went S on Monday, back N on Friday, sounds like we'd have been better to go there and back a day earlier.
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