A double-whammy of bank holidays could lead to problems on UK motorways as holidaymakers hit the road, according to the RAC. The motoring organisation says it expects 32 million separate leisure trips to be made by road over the coming two weekends as the Early May Bank Holiday and King’s coronation fall in the same week.
As a result, the UK is getting two three-day weekends in succession, and data from the RAC and transport data firm Inrix suggests the roads may become snarled up as a result. Overall, the Early May Bank Holiday weekend is expected to see around 17.2 million individual leisure journeys made by road, while 14.6 million are expected on the coronation weekend.
The greatest number of journeys are expected on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, with 2.3 million and 2.7 million journeys planned respectively. However, the Friday is expected to see more congestion as leisure traffic mixes with commuters.
Inrix is warning drivers of long delays on the southbound M5 between Bristol and Taunton, while the northbound M6 between Middlewich and the Ashton Interchange is also expected to get very busy. Drivers are being advised to set off before 11am if possible or leave journeys until later on Friday evening if they want to avoid the jams.
Over the coronation weekend, meanwhile, the traffic is expected to be more evenly spread across the days, with around two million trips each day. Again, the Friday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest days, with May 5 and 6 seeing the lion’s share of the traffic jams.
“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,” said RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis. “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 are less likely to be congested. The big variable, as always, is what happens with the Great British weather. If temperatures finally increase and the sun makes more of an appearance, we could well see many more people jumping in the car for a quick trip.
“In order to avoid any disappointment caused from cars letting their everyone on board down, we urge drivers to check tyres, oil and coolant levels as matters of priority before they hit the road. “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. The more checks drivers can carry out before they head out, the more likely they are to feel like the king, or queen, of the road.”