16 million drivers set to hit the road this bank holiday weekend

A busy motorway in the UK

Make sure you plan for delays if you’re travelling this bank holiday

More than 16 million car journeys will be made over the course of the early May bank holiday, research from the RAC and transport analytics specialists, INRIX shows. 

3.3 million journeys on Saturday 

Friday 3 May will see 2.6 million journeys being made. Saturday sees the highest number of trips made in a single day at 3.3 million, before it drops down again for Sunday and Monday, which will see 2.3 million and 2.6 million trips made.  

A further 5.6 million journeys are expected to be made over the long weekend by people who haven’t decided which day they’ll be travelling yet.  

How are people spending the bank holiday? 

39% of people said they were making a journey to spend the day with friends or family, followed by 14% who said they’re going on a shopping trip, and 8% who are staying with loved ones for the long weekend.  

A further 8% of people plan to stay at a holiday home, while 7% of people are planning to go to the beach. Only 4% are planning to go to an airport for a holiday abroad. 

When is the best time to travel over the bank holiday? 

INRIX have advised drivers on what times to avoid travelling during over the bank holiday weekend: 

Thursday: Between 1pm and 7pm 

Friday: Between 11am and 6pm 

Saturday: Between 9am and 2pm 

Sunday & Monday: Between 10am and 3pm 

It’s best overall to travel before 9am and after 5pm as those will be the times of least congestion. Friday 3 is expected to be the worst day for hold-ups, with journeys taking an estimated 13% longer than usual.  

Which roads will be worst? 

The M53 southbound between Liverpool and Chester is likely to be congested as soon as Thursday morning, with many people getting an early start to their travel plans.  

On Friday afternoon travel on the M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton is expected to take two hours longer than usual due to a combination of holiday and commuter traffic.  

Bank holiday Monday will see many roads experience delays. The M55 eastbound between Blackpool and Preston, the A30 and A38 eastbound between Cornwall and Exeter, and the A11 eastbound between Norwich and Thetford are all expected to have delays and traffic jams from mid-morning.  

If you’re going on a family trip this bank holiday, check out our blog on tips for road trips with kids 

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