The RAC has warned that 19 million leisure journeys will be made over the upcoming Easter weekend as motorists make their first big getaway of the year.
A survey by the motoring organisation reveals that Thursday will be the busiest day on the roads as holiday traffic mixes with regular commuter traffic. A total of 3.18 million individual leisure trips will be made on top of commuter traffic on Thursday, while Good Friday will see 4.45 million leisure trips.
While it’s normal to see heavy traffic over Easter weekend, the RAC has warned that it will coincide with bad weather causing chaos on the roads.
“While Easter is a little earlier this year than last, our research suggests drivers are just as keen as ever to get away and make the most of the long weekend,” said RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis. “In fact, between Thursday and bank holiday Monday our data indicates around a million more confirmed leisure journeys by car than in 2017.
“But if drivers are hoping for the longer days to herald better weather, they are likely to be disappointed. The ‘Beast from the East’ might have departed but much more unsettled conditions look set to make a very unwelcome return – with the risk of snow for some of us, and strong winds and rain for a lot of the country.
“We strongly recommend motorists keep abreast of the weather forecast through this week to help them organise their trips, especially if they are planning on driving any great distance.”
Planned upgrades to parts of the national rail network could also hit road traffic as buses carrying rail passengers take to the roads in parts of the north west, south west and east of England.
It’s not all bad news, however, as Highways England has put the majority of planned roadworks on hold over Easter.
“We’re doing everything we can to make journeys as smooth as possible this Easter and that’s why we’re keeping 99 per cent of the road network we manage, free from roadworks,” said Highway England’s customer service director, Melanie Clarke.
“Safety is our top imperative and we know from experience that almost half of breakdowns are avoidable and these can easily be avoided with simple vehicle checks. Easter is always a busy period on the road network and we’d urge all motorists to make sure they do their bit to check their vehicle is roadworthy before setting off over this period.”
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