More than 14m car trips planned this weekend

Traffic on the M5

The M5 will be most congested on Good Friday

If you’re planning on going away for Easter this weekend, make sure you know the best times to hit the road. 

Good Friday to see 2.6m journeys 

Approximately 2m journeys are set to take place on Thursday 28 March , the day most schools break up, as people aim to start their getaways as soon as possible.  

However, Good Friday will be the busiest day for car journeys over the Easter weekend with 2.6m journeys planned, closely followed by Saturday and Sunday, both with an estimated 2.3m journeys set to take place. Easter Monday will see a drop, with only 2m journeys planned. 

Additionally, 10% of drivers are planning a trip over the Easter weekend, but are undecided about when they’ll be travelling, meaning as many as 3.3m more journeys will be undertaken at some point over the long weekend. 

Which roads will be busiest at Easter? 

Because Easter weekend falls on the same week most schools break up, several major roads are likely to be more congested than normal.  

On Thursday 28 March the M25 will be busy in both directions around 4-5pm. This is around the time school finishes and when people are leaving work for the day. So, if you’re one of the 2m planning to travel on Thursday, make sure you leave either early enough beforehand, or wait until the rush has died down.  

Friday 29 March will see the M5 from Taunton to Bristol at its busiest around midday, so leaving early morning or late afternoon will help you avoid most of the congestion. The M3 will also be busier than usual at midday, all the way from the M25 to the south coast. 

The A590 and A591 between the M6 and the Lake District will be the most congested roads on Saturday 30 March, with the peak travel time being late morning.  

Monday 1 will see the A303 between Ilminster and Andover the most congested. The peak congestion time is estimated to be between 4-5pm, so getting an early start to the day could help. 

When is the best time to travel at Easter? 

According to the RAC, the best times to travel are either early in the morning or late evening. 

 

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Alice Simpson said: “With Easter falling earlier than usual at the start of the school holidays, it could be ‘carmageddon’ for holidaymakers…To have the best chance of a straightforward journey, we encourage motorists to check fuel, oil and coolant levels, along with tyre pressures and treads, before setting off.” 

Take a look at our DIY guide to checking your car to make sure you’re all set for the weekend. 

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