Schools are almost out – and when they are droves of people will driving off on holidays and days out.

The summer is predictably one of the busiest times of year on the roads and so to help drivers plan their journeys the Highways Agency is providing information on potential hotspots and the peak times when they should be avoided if possible.

Analysing data from previous years, the agency has produced a list of 23 popular holiday routes which are expected to be the most used again this summer.

Six of these routes are in the south east region:

  • M20 junction 4 to 8 – London to Dover/Folkestone
  • M25 junction 13 to 15 – Heathrow
  • M25 J5 to J9 — Gatwick
  • A282 Dartford Crossing
  • M3 junction 13 to 14 South Coast
  • M27 junction 5 to 7 South Coast

The M20 towards the Kent ports and the two stretches of the M25 are all among the agency’s 12 busiest routes. For each of these, traffic patterns from each of the last three years have been used to identify times when traffic is at its peak during two crucial periods at the start of the school summer holidays and the August bank holiday weekend

In addition to the summer travel advice drivers can check planned roadworks on motorways and major A roads in advance.

Up-to-date information about incidents and congestion hotspots on the road network can be accessed by calling the agency’s helpline on 0300 123 5000 or by checking Twitter

Drivers can download a live traffic info app to their smartphone (remembering it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving).

And of course News Shopper brings you the latest traffic and travel alerts when you need them.