DRIVERS spending the Easter weekend away have been advised to avoid travelling on Good Friday when bank holiday traffic will peak.

Around 15 million car journeys are expected to be taken in the run-up to Good Friday, with a further 12 million across the bank holiday weekend itself, new figures from the RAC show.

RAC's Traffic data from mobility analytics provider INRIX indicates that jams will peak on Good Friday, with major routes clogging up between 11am and 4.30pm.

On the railways, Chiltern Railways passengers travelling between Oxfordshire and London Marylebone will find services are busier than usual in and out of the capital due to engineering works on the West Coast main line.

LIVE Traffic and travel updates from across Oxfordshire

Highways England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke, said: “We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Easter and that’s why we’re keeping around 99 per cent of the road network we manage, free from roadworks.

“Safety is our top priority and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns can easily be avoided if motorists carry out simple vehicle checks before setting off over this period.”

Soaring temperatures will make a trip to the coast more attractive, but those heading for Devon and Cornwall could face the worst delays on the M5 southbound, passing west of Bristol, from junction 16 - 19.

Fortunately roadworks have been delayed to avoid the busier period, including the motorway and major A-road network from 6am Thursday, April 18, until 12.01am on Tuesday, April 23.

Read again: Roadworks cause mile-long delays in south Oxfordshire

Highways England and the RAC is reminding drivers to carry out basic checks to their cars, including having the correct tyre pressure and enough engine oil to avoid breakdowns.

RAC Traffic Watch spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “This week we’re expecting a significant second wave of Easter getaway traffic, following that which we saw at the start of April when schools broke up.

"This will mean the coming week and the bank holiday will likely be characterised by lengthy queues in some spots.

"But there’s a lot drivers can do to reduce the likelihood their car will fail them, and in fact a lot of the breakdowns our patrols attend are completely avoidable if drivers had checked over their cars before they set out.

"Wrongly inflated tyres, or those with a lack of tread, along with low oil and coolant levels and even a lack of fuel are all typical breakdowns at this time of year."

Read again: Oxfordshire rail stations get cash for improvements

Great Western Railway electrification works at Cardiff Central and the Severn Tunnel will affect all rail services between Newport and Bristol Parkway from Good Friday to Monday 22 April. This may affect passengers travelling from Didcot Parkway, which is on the same line.

A rail replacement bus will run between Bristol Parkway and Newport Junction, calling at Patchway and the Seven Tunnel.