Motorists urged to plan ahead for bank holiday weekend rush

A row of cars sit in a traffic jam

The bank holiday weekend is fast approaching and it seems plenty of us are looking forward to hitting the road.

Whether you’re planning a day trip or catch-up with family and friends, motoring experts are urging us to plan ahead to avoid possible delays.

Busiest in five years

As we make the most of easing lockdown restrictions, it’s expected the bank holiday weekend will see nearly 15 million leisure trips made between Friday and Monday, according to a survey of 1,050 motorists by the RAC.

The report suggests the highest number since 2016 will be making a long-overdue escape – a level 62% higher than Easter’s bank holiday.

Still, while millions plan to get away over the long weekend, 19% say they won’t be travelling due to the pandemic.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis 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.”

Vital to plan ahead

With Saturday predicted to be the busiest day – with 2.63m expected trips – it’s best to plan ahead. Here are some things you can do to try and ensure your journey runs smoothly:

  • Plan your route well in advance
  • Can you alter your travel time? Early mornings or late evenings avoid peak traffic
  • Try to avoid the busiest motorways (inc. M5, M6, M25 and M40)
  • Keep checking travel updates for any changes
  • Check the weather reports before you set out
  • Carry out essential car checks, including brake lights, tyres and wiper blades
  • Bring snacks and drinks in case you or your passengers get hungry or thirsty

If you’re planning on taking your furry friend on the road too, read our tips for travelling with pets.