Drivers warn of ‘worst Christmas traffic’ in six years as 18 million cars hit UK roads

More than 18 million cars are expected to pile up on roads across the UK as Christmas approaches, it has been reported.

A number of Scots are planning to travel across the country to visit friends and family during the holiday season.

It will be the first time many will be able to see loved ones on Christmas Day since 2019 – which is the last Christmas before the coronavirus pandemic.

The AA estimates that the roads in Scotland and the rest of the UK will be the busiest today and tomorrow.

About 5.3 million car trips are expected to be made on Christmas Eve, with an additional 4.1 million today.

Scots who hope to use public transport in the next two days should expect travel disruption due to continued staff absences due to an increase in the number of Covid cases of the Omicron variant.

This means many will be taking the car instead, potentially leading to the busiest Christmas time on the roads since 2015.

Jack Cousins, AA’s head of road policy, told The Sun: “Omicron’s influence is now being felt, so our outage statistics have remained reasonably low as people have decided to cancel events and not to travel.

“That said, Thursday and Friday could be busy as people make the decision to see their families for a shorter period – two to three days instead of a week or so.”

Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that there will be no changes to Scotland’s current guidelines on Christmas Day gatherings.

However, the Scots have been warned to keep their “as small as their family circumstances allow” due to the threat posed by the new Omicron variant.

Fears have been expressed over the threat of the variant, which is believed to have caused a recent spike in the number of cases in Scotland in recent days.

Preliminary results from the UK Health Security Agency today revealed that Omicron appears to cause less severe illness for those infected.

But the agency warned that the new strain is more transmissible than previous variants, such as Delta, and could still lead to a significant number of people needing hospital treatment in the coming weeks.

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