Drivers desert the roads when England’s World Cup games kick off

The roads are noticeably quieter when England play Picture: Ian Burt

The roads are noticeably quieter when England play Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Football mania is expected to leave our roads with up to a third less traffic tonight.

As fans cheer on Harry Kane and the boys in their bid for World Cup semi-final glory, the country's busiest roads are set to fall somewhat more silent than they normally would be midweek at 7pm.

Analysis of traffic on each of the England match days to date, comparing an hour before kick-off to two hours after, showed that during the games demand reduced by up to 33pc according to the Highways Agency.

And the roads were not busier than normal immediately before, or after the games, suggesting people are often choosing not to travel or to travel at completely different times, rather than to change their journeys to earlier or later times in the same day.

Frank Bird, one of Highways England's emergency planning officers, said: 'When England played Columbia we noticed traffic levels drop by about a third so we're anticipating similar on Wednesday.'

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