Traffic Warning Ahead Of Pope's Visit

The Highways Agency is advising road users to plan their journeys and to be prepared for increased traffic during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UK later this week.

Thousands of people are expected to be travelling to events across the country during the Papal visit.

On Thursday, September 16, the Pope will be visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Highways Agency warned that there might be increased northbound traffic on the M6 and A1 up to mid-day and increased southbound traffic in the late afternoon and evening.

On Friday 17 and Saturday 18 September, the Pope will be visiting London and increased traffic is expected on approaches to the M25, as well as other roads heading into and out of central London.

Large number of people are also expected to travel by coach to attend a Mass in south Birmingham on Sunday, September 19. The Highways Agency warned that approaches to M42 Junction 2 and M5 Junction 4, along with surrounding roads, are likely to be very busy from midnight until early morning and again from midday until late afternoon, while there may increased traffic on other roads heading into central Birmingham is also expected.

Highways Agency Planning Manager Jenny Moten said: "Highways Agency Traffic Officers will be on patrol in locations where there may be additional traffic to ensure that incidents are cleared quickly. Only those with pre-booked tickets obtained through their Catholic parish will be admitted to the Mass.

"Because of the level of traffic expected all road-users should take particular care to plan their journeys and check traffic conditions before travelling. Live traffic information is available from our website, and information will be fed to local and national radio travel bulletins and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Electronic message signs will give up to the minute information on traffic conditions from our National Traffic Control Centre."


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