Drivers have been warned that they should plan ahead and travel at off-peak times this bank holiday weekend as millions of journeys are expected to take place.
Although the weather is likely to cool somewhat for the May Day weekend, many motorists are still planning on taking advantage of the recent easing of lockdown to see friends and family.
A survey of 1,050 motorists by the RAC suggests 14.8 million leisure trips will take place between Friday and Monday – the highest number since 2016. That’s also 62 per cent higher than the last bank holiday four weeks ago.
Despite the huge numbers, many are planning to stay home, with 19 per cent saying they won’t travel because of Covid-19.
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.”
The research suggests Saturday will be the busiest day with 2.63m trips expected, followed by Friday with 2.3m journeys. Bank holiday Monday could see 1.97m and Saturday 1.64m, while over 6m people are planning to travel but don’t know which days yet.