Bank holiday traffic to reach more than 18 million journeys

Bank holiday traffic to reach more than 18 million journeys
Over 18 million journeys are expected to be made by UK drivers making the most of the final bank holiday weekend before Christmas, the RAC says.

With many planning to visit friends and family over the long weekend, the number of leisure-based car trips is anticipated to be higher than in 2016, with Monday likely to be the busiest on the roads.

The RAC recommends drivers try and plan where possible to travel outside of peak times to avoid congestion – although there is good news in the form of lifted roadworks at key pinch points.

PLAN YOUR JOURNEY: RAC Route Planner

It seems Monday itself will be the most frantic day for travel with around 5 million leisure journeys planned – a year-on-year increase of 1 million, or 22%.

Saturday too looks to be a popular day, with as many 4.4 million separate journeys due to take place, the RAC’s research suggests.

Anticipating the heavy strain on the network, Highways England has been able to lift around 450 miles of roadworks, leaving 98% of the nation’s motorways and major A-roads roadwork-free.

The RAC has also published a guide to alternative bank holiday stop-offs for those looking for a change from the usual motorway services areas.

Furthermore, the RAC app, free to download for iOS and Android devices, also offers up-to-the-minute traffic information and smart route planning guidance.

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Rod Dennis, RAC traffic spokesman, says British drivers remain “undeterred” by some suspect August weather and are determined to enjoy the final weeks of summer.

“We recommend motorists wanting to beat the queues travel outside peak times – so avoid Friday afternoon and evening if you can and try to get away in good time if you are planning a day trip on Monday, or face a long journey home at the end of a summer holiday,” he said.

“It only takes a single breakdown on a congested road to cause real disruption, so we also advise drivers to complete some quick, basic checks that can reduce the chances of their vehicle being the culprit.

"Make sure your tyres are in good condition and are properly inflated, and check your oil, coolant and screenwash are all at the right levels. Don’t forget to fully charge a few mobile phones before you set out too so you can reach help should you need it.”

Finally, Mr Dennis reminds those travelling with young children to remember to pack all the essentials – including plenty of water and snacks, plus entertainment – to avoid any unnecessary hitches to the ride.

Read our complete bank holiday driving guide for more advice.

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.