According to a recent study conducted by the RAC and INRIX, drivers in Britain are preparing for approximately 19.2 million leisure car journeys between this Friday and the end of the bank holiday Monday. This figure represents the highest number of trips since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research, based on the plans of 2,138 drivers, focuses on the last nationwide bank holiday before the end of August. It suggests that Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th, and Monday 29th May will be the busiest days for leisure car travel, with approximately 3.3 million trips expected each day.
In terms of traffic congestion, Friday is anticipated to be the busiest day, with an estimated 3 million trips being made. On this day, individuals looking to enjoy the long weekend will share the roads with those who are finishing their workweek.
Additionally, an additional 6.3 million journeys are expected to take place over the course of the four-day holiday period.
Transport experts from INRIX predict that the M25 will experience significant traffic congestion over the weekend.Certain sections, such as the clockwise stretch from Hatfield (J23) to Chelmsford (J28) and the anticlockwise direction towards the Dartford crossing, may take up to three times longer than usual. Delays are also expected on the M5 in Somerset and the M6 in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
According to Rod Dennis, the spokesperson for RAC Breakdown, the travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic are now a thing of the past. As a result, drivers’ eagerness to go on vacations has been rekindled, and the upcoming weekend’s figures indicate that leisure traffic volumes will be similar to those in 2019.
With the current weather forecast from the Met Office predicting mostly calm conditions and above-average temperatures, it is expected to be a busy period on major roads as people take advantage of the last long weekend before August.
This increased traffic means that RAC patrols will also be busy during this time.
Additionally, there is concern that many households facing financial pressures may have neglected essential car maintenance, which could result in more preventable breakdowns than usual. It is therefore strongly advised that drivers ensure their vehicles are well-prepared for their trips. If a car has not been serviced recently, this week is the opportune time to have it done by a qualified professional.
Regardless of recent servicing, it is essential to conduct a quick check of oil and coolant levels, as well as ensuring that tires are in good condition and properly inflated. These simple steps can greatly reduce the chances of an unwelcome roadside stop this weekend.