More than 10 million drivers are expected to hit the road this weekend as coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted. Research by the RAC found almost a third of motorists are planning a getaway, potentially making this coming weekend the busiest of the year so far.
The motoring organisation’s study of 1,400 UK drivers found 31 percent expected to use their car for an overnight getaway over the course of the weekend. The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures would be lifted from July 4, with pubs reopening and members of the public allowed to stay in other people’s homes.
The RAC’s research revealed 19 percent of respondents will, perhaps understandably, head for the homes of their friends or relatives at the weekend, while six percent look set to head for campsites. Two percent, meanwhile, plan on towing their caravan, and three percent will be heading for the comfort of a hotel or B&B.
With so much traffic potentially clogging the UK’s roads this weekend, the RAC is urging drivers to avoid unnecessary breakdowns by checking their vehicles and any caravans or trailers before setting out. The company’s breakdown spokesperson, Rod Dennis, said breakdowns could not only disrupt individual journeys, but also increase congestion.
“These figures suggest that after 15 weeks of lockdown, a large proportion of drivers in England are desperate to reconnect with friends, family and indeed nature by staying overnight, be that in a house or on a camping or caravan site,” he said. “The likely increase in journeys being taken by car next weekend follows a clear increase in traffic on the roads in recent weeks, with our own analysis showing that the number of motorists breaking down is now near enough back to what we would expect for late June.”
“This could lead to some busy conditions on the roads, with the location of queues likely to be dependent on just how far people travel – motorways and major A-roads could end up taking the brunt of the traffic if people have longer distances to drive to see family and friends or to take a weekend break.
“While our research suggests weekend traffic could be the heaviest of the year so far, a breakdown has the potential to make matters even worse. Tyre condition and pressure – of cars, as well as trailers and caravans – should be top of the list of things to check before any trip, followed by oil and coolant level.
“Those with motorhomes or towing caravans and trailers should also check that their breakdown policy adequately covers them – many have restrictions on the length, weight and height of vehicles, and on the number of people who can be covered. For any driver whose car needs essential work, be it an MoT, service or other work, this could be a good week to get that booked in before the weekend.”