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To ask what driving in London on Christmas eve will be like?

(35 Posts)
12ylnon Tue 20-Nov-12 11:00:39

We live about 40 miles south of London and have always avoided it like the plague around Christmas, mainly because i've always thought that traffic will be hell, although have never experienced it.

This year, my brother and my SIL have invited us up to Clapham for a traditional Polish Christmas (which is celebrated on xmas eve). They would like us to go up there on xmas eve, play stupid games, eat pierogi, stay the night and then for us all to drive down together to our parents on xmas day.

I'm nervous to say the least. Whilst i would looove to see them and their new house and eat my own body weight in delicious polish food, i can't help but think that the traffic on xmas eve and possibly xmas day will be awful.

I'll be 17 weeks pg by then (although they won't know that until thursday) and the thought of being stuck in traffic and having to rush around on xmas morning leaves me cold.

How bad is the traffic on xmas eve and christmas? Should we just suck it up and go? Make a decision for me please!

Mintyy Tue 20-Nov-12 11:01:17

Not unreasonable to ask.

Why not ask in Chat?

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Tue 20-Nov-12 11:03:28

It's absolutely fine - everyone has left by midday and the place is deserted. Christmas Eve in London is the quietest night of the year both for traffic and people.

12ylnon Tue 20-Nov-12 11:03:51

Sorry! Does it really matter?

Plomino Tue 20-Nov-12 11:04:02

Probably not that bad , the traffic on the A3 if you come in that way will be mostly going in the opposite direction . Whenever I've worked Christmas Eve, I've never had a problem driving in for afternoon time , it's always been traffic problems going home out of London after an early shift that have been a problem.

Go! It sounds great and I am very envious.

BlingLoving Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:13

Traffic on Christmas Day is completely fine. Christmas Eve I am not so sure about but you will find it easier going towards London than if you were heading out. Also, traffic will probably be worse earlier so by late afternoon I expect it would be less bad.

bigTillyMint Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:28

I don't think it will be that bad driving into London - most would be leaving. The centre of town is usually dead on Christmas Eve!

WillieWaggledagger Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:54

you'll probably be ok to be honest, people will have left or be leaving, and you're on the right side of the city already

we were travelling to and from central London (though north side) all last christmas (hospital visits) and it was deserted

urbandaisy Tue 20-Nov-12 11:06:29

Honestly, a lot of people will have travelled over the weekend so Christmas Eve itself won't be too bad, particularly if you're travelling against traffic (ie the exodus will be out of London and you'll be driving to SW4).

And Christmas Day itself really should be a doddle, fairly deserted especially as in Clapham it's such a straight line to get out of London.

FrankincenseWippery Tue 20-Nov-12 11:06:31

Would be pretty empty really. It gets quiet a couple of days before, and with Christmas Day on a Tuesday this year, a lot of people will have left London at the weekend.

I'm near Clapham and can do from Wilts/Hants border to mine in an hour and a half. Two hours is the longest it's ever taken me. If you need short cut routes, PM me and I can give you several options from the M23 round to the M40.

OhlimpPricks Tue 20-Nov-12 11:06:38

The traffic will be brilliant on both days. Take the school run out of the equation, that's about 30% of cars cut. Most offices will be shut on the 24 th as people get ready. No big supermarket lorries doing deliveries. I work in central London and traffic from there to my home in South London is a breeze on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

FuckityFuckFuck Tue 20-Nov-12 11:07:37

If it's anything like any other cuty then it will be dead after lunchtime. Whatever city I have lived in, xmas eve is a lovely time to go for a wander

helpyourself Tue 20-Nov-12 11:08:50

Easy peasy. It'll be quite traffic wise and roadworks, no football, you'll be fine.

helpyourself Tue 20-Nov-12 11:09:14

Grr quiet not quite.

It will be completely empty Christmas day - so much so that you will have to watch out for speed traps.

Everyone is gone by lunchtime Christmas Eve - it really wont be bad then.

MissCellania Tue 20-Nov-12 11:11:53


squeakytoy Tue 20-Nov-12 11:13:15

I live in this area, and it shouldnt really be that bad at all. You dont need to go into central london itself, and the A3 which is 3 lanes most of the way, will take you right into Clapham.

There will be no school run traffic and very little business traffic, so you will be fine.

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 11:13:44

I think it will be very quiet.

Christmas is on a Tues so most people won't be working the Monday anyway and Christmas Day traffic is always very very quiet.

honeytea Tue 20-Nov-12 12:31:25

We fly into London on the 24th each year, with to heathrow or stansted (once we flew into London city airport) and then drive in a hire car down to Devon. Every year there has been no traffic at all it has been really really smooth and easy.

Sounds like a fun Christmas eve plan, enjoy and congratulations on your pregnancy smile

ClippedPhoenix Tue 20-Nov-12 12:39:30

I live in Fulham, not far from Clapham and it's usually like a ghost town round here, you will be fine.

bowerbird Tue 20-Nov-12 12:48:56

Christmas Eve is wonderful for driving around London - it's very quiet. Ditto Christmas Day. Enjoy!

JellyRyan123 Wed 19-Nov-14 13:40:38

I need some help! I am a nurse working in north west london (hampstead), originally from dublin, hoping to make it home this christmas eve to visit my family. The problem is, I;m working until 5ish christmas eve and have booked a flight for 1945 that evening. Am I totally stupid or will I make it?? I'm trying to figure out best way to get to Heathrow? Taxi? Tubes? I am so stressed thinking about this as it is my first christmas in London I don't know what to expect!!! If anyone can shed some light that would be amazing!

KnittedJimmyChoos Wed 19-Nov-14 13:46:59

Is congestion charge in place on xmas eve

Godcreatedcricket Wed 19-Nov-14 14:11:13

Most people will be travelling in the opposite direction on Christmas Eve. Christmas day is always deserted. Go, eat and be merry.

CuthbertDibble Wed 19-Nov-14 15:59:01

JellyRyan123 you've asked your question part way through a really old thread so you probably won't get much of a response.

Check out the TFL journey planner for full details but tube or train will be your best bet, you'll need to allow about an hour and a half so it's perfectly possible but a bit tight.

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