How to halve your Christmas traffic
HOLIDAYMAKERS are hitting the road for Christmas trips, but congestion will have drivers crawling to their destinations as the RACQ reveals the worst times to travel.
Congestion is guaranteed, with data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads showing there will be 6200 cars on the Pacific Motorway and 4800 on the Bruce Highway each hour between 10am and 5pm as families leave Brisbane today.
But those leaving at 7am can expect about 3200 cars an hour on the Pacific Motorway and 2000 on the Bruce Highway.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said peak traffic usually lasted a couple of hours on weekdays, but people electing to take Monday off and leaving today would mean constant congestion.
"So anyone thinking they would escape the traffic by leaving at lunch time needs to think again," she said.
"The only real reprieve can be found if you aim to leave before 9am or wait until after dinner to brave the highways."
There won't be any relief until after Boxing Day as motorists in either direction can expect to spend up to 18 minutes longer on the road.
Michelle Allanson plans to beat the chaos when her family travels from Albany Creek to the Sunshine Coast on Boxing Day: "I'll be probably hitting the road at 5.30 in the morning because my kids are up so early. I haven't been stuck in Boxing Day traffic before."
So far this year more than 230 people have died on roads and police will be out in force.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the summer holiday was the busiest time on roads.
"The State Government is absolutely determined to reduce the devastation and trauma that is seen on our roads, particularly around this busy period," he said.
"If we could have one Christmas wish, it would be for zero fatalities."