Bank holiday traffic: staycations cause busiest weekend of the year

An estimated 18 million leisure trips will be taken during August bank holiday weekend, 1.8 million more than last year

This bank holiday weekend is set to be the busiest of the year on Britain’s roads, with 18 million leisure trips being taken by car.

The last bank holiday before Christmas in most of the UK will see an additional 1.8 million car journeys compared with last year, as the continuing coronavirus pandemic makes more people choose to remain in the UK for their holidays, rather than go abroad.

Friday will be the busiest day of the weekend, with an estimated 5.6 million trips planned. Second is Saturday with 4.7 million trips, followed by 3.7 million journeys on Sunday.

The RAC - surveyed 1,835 members about their travel plans this weekend - also conducted research in August that indicated 45 million journeys by road would be taken over the whole month, with 28 per cent of drivers saying they were planning to take more trips than they did last year. The latest research suggests a significant proportion of these trips will take place this bank holiday.

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “It’s been anything but a normal summer for so many reasons, but our research indicates that millions of us are still desperate to eke out the last of the summer and enjoy time away, whether that’s a day trip to see friends or family or a long weekend in a caravan or camping. In fact, it may even turn out to be busier on the roads than last year with many more people returning home this weekend after a staycation.

“Both official Government statistics and our own data from insurance customers show that weekend traffic is now back to pre-lockdown levels. The numbers of people breaking down are also around where we would expect them to be for late August.”

He added: “Our teams will be working incredibly hard to rescue drivers who run into trouble, but in so many cases breakdowns can be avoided. A quick check of a car’s ‘vitals’ – tyre pressure and tread, oil and coolant levels – can make the difference between a smooth trip or one blighted by a breakdown. It’s also very important those towing caravans and trailers complete a range of checks, too.”

If you need a car to handle the traffic, check out our top 10 commuter cars here...

Recommended

Covid-19: what it means for motorists and the car industry
News

Covid-19: what it means for motorists and the car industry

Everything you need to know about how Covid-19 affects cars, motorists and the car industry in the UK
5 Jan 2021
UK car production fell 29% to lowest level since 1984 last year
Production line
News

UK car production fell 29% to lowest level since 1984 last year

For the first time in more than a decade, fewer than a million cars were built in the UK in 2020 due to disruption from Covid-19
28 Jan 2021
Current car usage at similar levels to May 2020 despite lockdown
Traffic
News

Current car usage at similar levels to May 2020 despite lockdown

New data suggests 10 per cent more cars are being used in the UK now than during the first lockdown in March 2020
13 Jan 2021
Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design: long-term test review
Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 long termer - final report header
Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design: long-term test review

Final report: Our plug-in Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 has proved a useful step on the way to full electrification
13 Jan 2021

Most Popular

UK’s most stolen cars revealed
Most stolen car
Ford Fiesta

UK’s most stolen cars revealed

DVLA data reveals which cars were most commonly stolen in 2020, with the Ford Fiesta topping the list
26 Jan 2021
Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021
Mazda CX-5 2021
Mazda CX-5

Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021

The updated Mazda CX-5 gets a larger displacement version of the brand’s SkyActiv-G petrol engine and a fresh infotainment system
26 Jan 2021
New MINI facelift revealed with updated look and added tech
MINI 3-door hatch facelift - front
MINI MINI

New MINI facelift revealed with updated look and added tech

The MINI range has been revised for 2021, with the hatch, Convertible and Electric models all getting a range of styling tweaks
26 Jan 2021