The roads that will be worst affected by this week’s rail strikes as AA warns traffic will surge

This week’s rail strikes are set spark large tailbacks on Britain’s roads, drivers have been warned.

Motorway arteries and roads in rural and suburban areas are likely to be hardest hit by industrial action on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday on the rail network, the AA believes.

The M74, M8 and A9 in Scotland are among the roads due to face a surge in traffic, as well as the M4, A55, A5, and A483 in Wales, according to the AA.

This week’s walkout by 40,000 workers will mark the largest rail strike in Britain for decades, with the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union saying it will “intensify” its strike action if its members don’t secure an adequate pay settlement.

The RMT union boss told i that Britons should be prepared for rail strikes to run on until the Autumn.

An AA route planner spokesman said days of strikes means many travellers “will give up on the trains for the whole week”.

Drivers who are not attending Glastonbury and the Goodwood Festival of Speed were advised to give nearby roads “a wide berth”.

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RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said the strikes will “inevitably lead to the roads being used more” with motorists forced to use their cars.

Mr Dennis added: “Major city routes as well as those serving the home counties are likely to see some of the biggest increases in traffic volumes as, even if rail lines are still open, there will be significantly fewer trains running.

“With strikes like these planned it’s perhaps little wonder that so many drivers across the country are dependent on their vehicles.

“Traffic jams aside, using a car often turns out to be the most practical and reliable way of getting around.”

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Glastonbury festivalgoers have been encouraged to travel by bike amid this week’s rail strikes.

This morning, Chief secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke apologised for the “misery” the strike will cause.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I fear it is likely that they [the strikes] will go ahead.

“Clearly we will continue to support the negotiations until such time is there’s no more time to discuss.

“But I think the public do this week need to be aware there will be very substantial disruption and it is therefore sensible to make preparations for that.”

Deputy general secretary for the TUC Paul Nowak called for Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to “step up to the plate and take some responsibility” to help avert the strikes.

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