Double Bank Holiday Traffic Woes Expected as 32 Million Leisure Trips Planned
RAC Breakdown research predicts the busiest early May bank holiday since 2016, as millions of people plan leisure trips during the two consecutive bank holiday weekends.
The King’s Coronation celebrations are expected to contribute to the surge in traffic.
The RAC estimates 17.2 million individual trips will take place during the early May bank holiday, with a slightly lower figure of 14.6 million journeys predicted for the Coronation weekend.
The latter figure is likely influenced by people choosing to stay home and watch the event on television.
Transport data experts INRIX, in collaboration with the RAC, warn of the busiest days being Friday and Saturday, with the longest delays expected on Friday afternoon and early evening.
This is when leisure traffic and end-of-the-week commuter traffic combine. Friday alone will see an estimated 2.3 million trips, while Saturday will see the weekend peak of 2.7 million journeys, with an additional 7.6 million trips spread across the entire weekend.
INRIX advises drivers to be prepared for long delays on the M5 southbound between J15 Bristol and J23 Taunton on Friday afternoon, as well as the M6 northbound from J18 Chester to J24 Liverpool around the same time.
Queues of at least 30 minutes are expected. To avoid the worst of the congestion, drivers are encouraged to set out before 11am, postpone their journeys to later on Friday evening, or travel early on Saturday.
During the Coronation long weekend, the RAC expects an even distribution of traffic, with approximately 2 million trips each day. Friday afternoon and Saturday are likely to see the most congestion.
RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The weather might still be unseasonably chilly, but this won’t stop drivers getting out and about over the double bank holiday weekends to make the most of some extra days off.
While we’d expect more short breaks and day trips to the coast this coming weekend, when it comes to the Coronation, it’s likely major routes will be less congested.”
Dennis urged drivers to check their tyres, oil, and coolant levels before setting out to avoid breakdowns and delays. “While our teams will be working hard throughout both bank holidays, no one wants to feel royally fed up by being stuck at the side of the road waiting for help,” he added.
Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, warned: “Although delays won’t be as severe as Easter, drivers should expect long delays on major roads in and around greater London this weekend. Travel times will likely peak on Friday afternoon with some areas seeing double the travel times as holiday travellers mix with commuters, but drivers should be prepared for added congestion throughout the holiday weekend.”
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