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RAC: Busiest summer getaway since 2014 expected with over 13m leisure journeys planned this weekend

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Jul 19th, 2019.

Drivers are expected to take 13.4m separate summer getaway trips between this Friday and the end of the weekend, the highest number in five years and 4m more than in 2018, according to a study by the RAC and INRIX.*

RAC research suggests ‘Frantic Friday’ at the end of this week, the day many school terms end, will see some 5.3m separate getaways by car taking place which, when added to the normal daily traffic seen on a Friday, could mean it’s the worst day for congestion.

But Saturday also looks busy with 5m leisure trips planned, followed by a further 3.4m on Sunday.

With so many families eager to make a break for it from this weekend, and with vehicle breakdowns expected to soar, the RAC and INRIX are backing Highways England’s campaign that calls on every driver to check their vehicle before they set out – doing so can radically cut the chances of them getting stuck at the side of the road.

RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said:

“The last thing any family wants is a breakdown spoiling the start of their summer holiday they’ve no doubt been looking forward to for a long time.

Traffic jams are pretty much guaranteed from the end of this weekend and while it’s possible to predict where some of these will be, every summer we see extra delays caused by broken-down vehicles blocking lanes, leaving drivers faced with hours of frustration.

“We therefore urge holidaymakers to heed the advice and spend just a few minutes checking the basics like oil, coolant and tyre tread and pressure on their cars before they get packed up.

Doing this could make the difference between a smooth and trouble-free journey, and one plagued by the stress and wasted time that comes from being broken-down at the roadside.”

INRIX transportation analyst Trevor Reed said:

“With record-level travellers hitting the road for the start of summer, drivers must be prepared for delays on popular routes,” said . “Although travel times are expected to increase throughout the weekend, Friday afternoon will be the worst time to be on the road as commuters mix with holiday travellers.”

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety Richard Leonard said:

“Breakdowns are still too common. We urge motorists to get behind the ‘check your vehicle day’ initiative this Friday (19 July) and while we remind motorists to check their vehicles on a regular basis, this week is really important because schools are breaking up for summer and people are setting off for holidays and getaways.

“By doing the correct checks, motorists can make sure they reach their destinations safely and keep us all moving.”

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Mark Sidaway said:

“The weather becomes increasingly unsettled this week with showers gradually becoming more widespread. By Friday much of the country will see some wet and windy weather, which could make driving conditions difficult especially in the South West.

While parts of the south and east will stay warm and dry. We are in for a weekend of sunshine and showers, with the heaviest and most frequent showers on Saturday, and Sunday turning drier for many. The changeable weather looks set to continue into next week.”

Expected worst day for delays over this period is Friday 19 July

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