Drivers planning more than 21m leisure trips planned for the long weekend
Drivers are collectively planning an estimated 21.46m leisure journeys by car this weekend, the highest number for an Easter bank holiday since the RAC first started tracking motorists’ plans in 2014, according to new research published today.
Good Friday – the first bank holiday since the start of the year – looks set to be the single busiest day of the long weekend with drivers planning in the region of 4.62m separate leisure trips, followed by bank holiday Monday (3.96m) with Saturday and Sunday each seeing around 3.63m journeys by car.
An additional estimated 5.6m trips will be taken by drivers at some point between Friday and Monday.
The RAC together with transport analytics specialists INRIX are predicting some extremely busy roads, with the Easter getaway likely to be made worse by the impact of closures to some parts of the railway network.
INRIX data suggests that the M6 north between Liverpool and the Lake District, south towards Stoke-on-Trent, the M25 between Surrey and the M40 exit, and the A303 near Stonehenge could see some of the worst congestion, with drivers urged to set off as early as they can or to delay their trips until the end of the day to stand a better chance of a smoother journey.
Inevitable breakdowns also risk causing additional long queues, so the RAC is strongly urging drivers to check their vehicles are ‘road-ready’ before setting out.
In addition to the expected traffic jams, drivers also face the costliest Easter on record when it comes to petrol and diesel prices with six per cent of drivers saying they’re not planning a car trip at all over the weekend for this very reason.
Separate research by the RAC also suggests that the high pump prices might affect people’s trips in other ways – one-in-five drivers said they plan on driving a shorter distance this Easter than in previous years, with the same proportion saying they’ll be cutting back on other Easter expenditure because of high petrol and diesel prices.
More than a quarter said they’re planning on using their cars less, while a third will be deliberately driving more economically to try to keep their Easter fuel spending down.
The research also found that only a fifth of drivers say they always check their cars are ‘road-ready’ before making an Easter trip, increasing the potential for breakdowns to ruin the start of many people’s breaks.
Half of drivers said they sometimes checked their cars over before setting out but an alarming 30 per cent said they never do.