Over 10m cars set to take to the roads as third of all drivers head off for overnight stay in England this weekend

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Drivers urged to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy before setting off after lockdown

The easing of lockdown restrictions in England from next weekend (4 July) will see the equivalent of more than ten million people – an incredible one third of all drivers – getting away for an overnight stay, potentially making it the busiest weekend of the year so far on the roads, according to a survey by RAC Breakdown.

Driving to stay over with family or friends is the most popular option, with a fifth of drivers (19 per cent) planning such a trip, but campsites also look set to receive their first significant volume of visits this year with six per cent of respondents – or around two million drivers – planning an overnight stay under the stars.

Two per cent (680,000 drivers) plan on towing their caravans to a caravan site for a short break, while three per cent (one million) favour a stay in hotel, B&B or self-catering accommodation.

The RAC is reminding people to ensure their vehicles and anything they are towing are thoroughly checked over before setting out to avoid the chances of a breakdown in what may well turn out to be the busiest weekend on England’s roads so far this year.

The breakdown assistance organisation is also backing calls by Highways England for all drivers to ensure any loads they are carrying – be they trailers, bikes of roof boxes – are properly secured, as new figures reveal more than 46,000 items were found on England’s motorways and major A roads over just ten months.

RAC Breakdown spokesperson, Rod Dennis said: “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.

“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.

“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 work booked in before the weekend.”

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