The RAC has warned of ‘bumber to bumper’ traffic from Friday lunchtime at the start of a bank holiday weekend that will see at least an extra million leisure journeys taken by car, the highest number in four years.
Based on the travel plans of over 2,000 UK motorists, the RAC is predicting a late spring surge on the roads, with sixteen and a half million leisure journeys by car.
The motoring organisation said Friday (26 May) ‘will be most hectic’ as getaway traffic mixes with normal commuter traffic.
Leisure traffic on motorways and major A-roads will peak on bank holiday Monday at nearly five million journeys, while Saturday is also expected to see a significant number of leisure journeys by road – around 4.3 million.
The RAC said its research was conducted before the weekend weather looked so promising and that ‘if anything the roads could be even busier come Friday’.
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘Drivers should be warned that the roads are likely to see significant congestion on Friday 26th May as getaway traffic and everyday commuter traffic combines.
‘We’re expecting it to be bumper-to-bumper from Friday lunchtime onwards on some of the country’s most popular routes.’
Highways England said almost 98% of its motorways and strategic A roads will be roadworks-free over the bank holiday.
It said it would suspend 162 miles of roadworks from 6am on Friday until 12.01am Tuesday (30 May).
Network Rail said passengers travelling at the weekend should check travel plans in advance as it will be carrying out work on the network.
Works will disrupt travel in and out of Liverpool Street station.
There will be no Southeastern trains between London Charing Cross and London Bridge with most services diverted to start/terminate at London Cannon Street.
There will be reduced services to and from London Paddington and Slough stations and travel will also be disrupted by work between Didcot Parkway and Swindon.
Work between Carstairs and Edinburgh will see lines closed between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central.
Manchester Victoria station remains closed following Monday's terrorist attack.
Passengers can find up-to-date travel information and check travel plans on the National Rail website. Bus services will be in place.