It's the great Bank Holiday traffic jam as drivers head to... Leeds and Sheffield

Drivers have been warned of 90 minute delays in the Bank Holiday getaway - as Leeds and Sheffield emerged amongst the UK's top destinations.

The holiday weekend will see a big getaway
The holiday weekend will see a big getaway

The hotspots which could have hold-ups are the M25 between junctions 9 and 21 in both directions and the M5 southbound between junctions 14 and 22 at Highbridge, according to transport technology experts Inrix.

National Express said it is adding 8,000 extra seats on its coaches this Bank Holiday weekend to help cope with demand.

It said that London (including Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton airports), Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Southampton, Sheffield and Cardiff are the most popular destinations by coach this Bank Holiday.

Yorkshire’s more obvious tourist destinations, including York, Scarborough, the Dales and North York Moors, did not make the list.

The experts urged people planning to fly from Heathrow or Gatwick Airports to seek alternative routes or to give themselves extra time to catch their flight.

Drivers visiting Manchester face delays of up to 45 minutes on the M6 between Keele and Knutsford and between junction 19 and 22, according to the Inrix data on urban mobility, while motorists using the M6 to Liverpool could face a similar delay.

The busiest period of the Bank Holiday weekend looks set to be on Friday at around 5pm as travellers start their journeys to take advantage of the long weekend.

It is set to be a busy time on the transport network with more holidaymakers set to take to the UK’s roads and over 30 engineering projects being carried out by National Rail. It is also the half term school holidays.

Greg Hallsworth, of Inrix, said “Our advice to drivers is to check before starting your journey, travel at smarter times and take alternative routes to avoid delays hampering plans.”

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Spring Bank Holiday and the start of the summer half term are on a collision course on Friday and drivers will have to expect delays.

“With temperatures picking up, travellers will have to make sure their cars don’t overheat and also carry water for themselves should they get stuck in a traffic jam.

“Delaying departure until later in the evening is often a shrewd move as the combination of work exit and holiday exodus traffic tends to ease after the rush-hour.”