MOTORISTS are advised to leave plenty of time to get to Christmas lunch with traffic on the roads traditionally busy between 10.30am and 1pm with another surge in traffic between 4pm and 6.30pm.

The busiest roads are expected to be along EastLink towards Frankston, the Princes Freeway towards Geelong and parts of the Mornington Peninsula, Frankston and Monash freeways. And, of course, expect it to be busy on Phillip Island, the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas, around the Surf Coast and on many regional roads.

On Boxing Day, as thousands of shoppers head to major shopping centres to bag a bargain, traffic engineers will be in place working with centre management and Victoria Police to help manage the flow of traffic.

The roads are expected to be busiest between 11am and 1pm. The Department of Transport will have expert signal engineers based at the Chadstone, Highpoint and Essendon DFO traffic centres to help support shoppers and manage the surrounding traffic.

Our traffic teams will also be monitoring traffic volumes throughout the day and adjust traffic lights around shopping centre car parks to help motorists and buses get in and out as quickly as possible.

At Chadstone Shopping Centre, a dedicated shuttle service will run every 7 to 10 minutes between Oakleigh Station and the shopping centre throughout the festive period.

For cricket fans attending the Boxing Day test between Australia and India at the MCG, public transport is the best option with no public car parking in Yarra Park available on Day 1.

Trains will run to a Saturday timetable with extra trains scheduled before and after the match to and from Jolimont and Richmond stations. Additional tram services on Routes 70 and 75 will be added to the timetable an hour and a half before the start of play and until one hour after play has concluded.

Motorists and public transport passengers are urged to allow extra travel time and be patient around major shopping destinations as Melbourne heads into one of the busiest periods of the year.

On Christmas Day, metropolitan and regional public transport will run to a regular public holiday timetable and will be free from 3am until 3am on Boxing Day, with Night Network services running through the night.

Passengers using a myki are not required to touch on and off and will not be charged if they do. Passengers on V/Line services still need to book their travel on reserved services, but will be issued a ticket free of charge.

Extra shopping centre information on Boxing Day

Chadstone: Expect busy traffic on Dandenong Rd, Chadstone Rd, Warrigal Rd and Middle Rd. Enter the car park from any of the three entrances on Dandenong Rd, try to avoid the entrance from Warrigal Rd/Middle Rd as this can cause congestion to traffic on the Monash Freeway. Exiting on to Dandenong Rd is the best option.

Doncaster: Expect heavy traffic on Doncaster Rd and Williamsons Rd. Enter the car park from any of the multiple entrances along Williamsons Rd and Doncaster Rd.

Southland: Expect heavy traffic on the Nepean Hwy, Chesterville Rd, Bay Rd, Karen St and Tennyson St. Enter the multi storey car parks from the Nepean Hwy.

Eastland: Expect heavy traffic on the Ringwood Bypass, Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood St and Warrandyte Rd. Enter the car parks from Warrandyte Rd. Ringwood St carries a larger volume of through traffic and tends to experience more delays.

Highpoint: Expect busy traffic on Rosamond Rd, Raleigh Rd, Wests Rd, Williamson Rd and Aquatic Dve. Enter and exit the car park from Warrs Rd.

Watergardens: Works continue around Watergardens on the Melton Hwy, so expect heavy traffic on the Melton Hwy, Kings Rd and Sydenham Rd. Enter and exit the carpark from any of the entrances on the Melton Hwy, Sydenham Rd or Kings Rd.

Bayside Frankston: Expect heavy traffic on the Nepean Hwy, Dandenong Rd, Beach St, Young St and Fletcher Rd. All works on Youngs St are now complete. There are 13 different entrances and exits however Fletcher Rd is the recommended option.

Knox City: Expect heavy traffic on the Burwood Hwy and Stud Rd. Enter and exit the car park from either Stud Rd or Capital City Bvd.

Fountain Gate: Expect heavy traffic on the Princes Hwy, Narre Warren Rd and Magid Dve. Enter and exit the car park from Magid Dve.

Northland: Expect heavy traffic on Murray Rd, Southern Rd, Albert St and Wood St. Enter and exit the car park via any of the three entrances from Murray Rd.

The Glen: Expect heavy traffic on Springvale Rd and High St Rd. Enter and exit the car park from Snedden Dve (off High St Rd)

Victoria Gardens: Expect heavy traffic on Victoria St, Burnley St and Barkers Rd. Enter and exit the car park from Burnley Street, there are two entrances with access to all levels of parking.

You must carry a face mask with you when you leave home. Wearing a face mask is mandatory on public transport, while in taxis or ride share vehicles, in airport terminals or when going to large retail venues.

Real-time traffic conditions are available at or via the VicTraffic mobile app. The latest public transport information and network status is available at or in the PTV mobile app.