Be prepared for the big Easter getaway

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Apr 4, 2023

Motorway traffic

Drivers are set to embark on up to 17 million leisure trips by car this Easter bank holiday, with Good Friday and Easter Sunday set to see the largest number of journeys made.

Research by the RAC and data from transport analytics experts INRIX suggests there may be long delays in parts of the south and west of the UK.

Good Friday could turn out to be a ‘bad’ Friday for drivers this year, with an estimated 2.7 million ‘getaway’ trips expected that day.

The A303 westbound near Stonehenge, M5 south between Bristol and Bridgwater and M25 anticlockwise between Hertfordshire and Surrey are predicted to see more than twice the normal amount of traffic, with vehicle speeds reduced to just 12mph at some points in the day.

Easter Sunday is forecast to see a similar number of leisure journeys being made by drivers (2.7m), with Easter Saturday and Easter Monday only slightly less busy with 2.3m separate trips each.

But it appears a large number of drivers are waiting to see what the great British weather has in store before deciding which day to jump in the car – with the potential for another 7m trips to be staggered throughout the long weekend.

And with planned engineering work on the railway, including the closure of London Euston station over the whole weekend, more people look certain to be forced onto the roads.

The good news for drivers, if there is some, is that National Highways is temporarily lifting around 1,400 miles of roadworks from Thursday to help alleviate the queues.

Knowing that just a single breakdown can cause traffic to grind to a halt, the RAC is recommending drivers make sure their vehicles are ‘road-ready’ before setting off.

Top tips for a better trip this bank holiday – from teams at the RAC

  • “Make sure you’ve got enough fuel in your vehicle to get to your destination. If you’re driving an electric car, plan in your charging stops before you set out and check any faults with chargers using an app like Zap-Map.” – RAC patrol, eastern England
  • “Keep any important medicine that you or your passengers need in the car with you, and carry some extra medication in case you break down and get delayed.” – RAC patrol, eastern England
  • “Check your level of breakdown cover matches the journeys you’ll be making. If you’re driving a long distance, have you got national recovery so you can get home again if your car lets you down?” – RAC customer service agent, West Midlands
  • “Keep your locking wheel nut somewhere you can easily find it as this makes it quicker for us to do a tyre change if needed. And download and use the free MyRAC mobile app as it makes it much easier for us to find you.” – RAC patrol, south west England
  • “Check your tyres every time, especially the inside front edges. And whatever you do, don’t start a journey with a known problem!” – RAC patrol, south west England

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