Hitting the road to see friends and family: RAC estimates 15m journeys will take place this weekend – the most on a May bank holiday since 2016
- Motorists expected to take advantage of eased restrictions to visit friends and family and enjoy days out over May bank holiday weekend
- The breakdown provider says drivers plan to make 14.8m leisure journeys
- Saturday is estimated to be busiest day for traffic with 2.6m trips planned
- This could increase further with 6.25m saying they haven’t decided which day over the bank holiday weekend they will be hitting the road
Traffic levels are set to soar this weekend as Britons take advantage of a bank holiday with eased lockdown rules, according to early estimations.
Drivers are being told to plan ahead to avoid delay with almost 15million leisure trips expected to take place between today and Monday – the most on a May bank holiday weekend for five years.
RAC Breakdown said that even with the predicted changeable weather, drivers are still keen to take advantage of the recent easing of Covid restrictions to see friends and family or take day trips’.
Britain’s roads are expected to be packed this May bank holiday weekend with some 15million leisure journeys estimated from Friday to Monday, according to RAC Breakdown
A snap poll of 1,050 UK drivers, conducted up until Monday this week, suggests an estimated 62 per cent more leisure trips are planned this coming bank holiday weekend than at Easter.
The figures indicate Saturday will be the busiest day with the equivalent of 2.6million journeys planned.
Today, the RAC says it expects around 2.3million cars on the road, and another 2million on Monday.
An additional 6.2million trips are due to be taken at some point over the weekend by drivers who aren’t sure which day they will be on the road – suggesting many might be waiting to find out exactly what the weather has in store.
Number of leisure trips predicted for May bank holiday weekend
Friday 30 April: 2.3million
Saturday 1 May: 2.63million
Sunday 2 May: 1.64million
Bank holiday Monday 3 May: 1.97million
Planning a trip over this period, but unsure of on which day/s: 6.25million
Source: RAC Breakdown survey of 1,050 drivers
While Covid continues to impact some drivers’ desire to get out and about, with a fifth not planning a leisure trip by car at all over the bank holiday for this very reason, the figure is down from Easter when 25 per cent said they weren’t travelling because of the pandemic.
If the predicted traffic figures are realised, it will be the busiest May bank holiday on the roads since 2016, according to the breakdown provider’s records.
Rod Dennis, RAC traffic spokesman, said: ‘After what was one of the quietest Easters on the roads in years our figures suggest the easing of Covid restrictions has made a dramatic difference with millions more drivers planning to hit the roads.
‘It remains to be seen what effect the weather will have as meeting up in soggy parks and gardens may not prove quite so appealing.
‘And if it’s too cold for a trip to the beach, then there could be a big uplift in visits to shops, cafes and restaurants with covered outdoor areas.
‘Nonetheless, the prospect of queues on the roads – particularly leading to major shopping centres – looks far more likely this coming weekend, and we’d advise drivers to plan ahead and keep tuned to local traffic bulletins to find out if there’s any disruption.
‘What’s more, given nearly a fifth of drivers we surveyed said they had yet to decide on which day over the long weekend they will be travelling, it might well be the case that the weather ends up playing a deciding role in which days end up being busiest.
‘Any sunnier, warmer days could trigger many more people to jump into their cars.’
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