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May bank holiday traffic warning from RAC

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Almost 15 million separate leisure trips will be made by car over the May Day bank holiday weekend, new research RAC Breakdown suggests.

The expected journeys being made, between Friday and Monday, will be the highest on record since 2016.

The appetite for such trips exceeds Easter, with the RAC survey of 1,000 drivers suggesting an estimated 62% more leisure trips are planned this coming bank holiday weekend than four weeks ago.

The figures indicate Saturday will be the busiest day of the weekend with the equivalent of 2.6m journeys planned, followed by Friday with 2.3m and bank holiday Monday with 2m.

However, an additional 6.2m trips are due to be taken at some point over the weekend by drivers who aren’t sure which day they will be on the road – suggesting many might be waiting to find out exactly what the weather has in store.

While Covid-19 continues to impact some drivers’ desire to get out and about, with a fifth (19%) not planning a leisure trip by car at all over the bank holiday for this very reason, the figure is down from Easter when 25% said they weren’t travelling because of the pandemic.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The prospect of queues on the roads – particularly leading to major shopping centres – looks far more likely this coming weekend, and we’d advise drivers to plan ahead and keep tuned to local traffic bulletins to find out if there’s any disruption.

“What’s more, given nearly a fifth of drivers we surveyed said they had yet to decide on which day over the long weekend they will be travelling, it might well be the case that the weather ends up playing a deciding role in which days end up being busiest. Any sunnier, warmer days could trigger many more people to jump into their cars.”

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