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RAC warns of busy Easter on UK roads

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The RAC is warning anyone planning to getaway this Easter to expect a busy bank holiday weekend, with 16.8m car journeys expected to be made.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Easter traditionally sees the first big getaway of the year but this time we are expecting an unprecedented number of cars to be using major roads for leisure trips.

“Some years Maundy Thursday before the Easter weekend can be exceptionally busy but this year Good Friday is the day everyone seems to be planning to head off which is why we are warning people to expect it to be a long, mad, bad Friday on the roads.”

RAC Traffic Watch data predicts Thursday’s leisure trip volume to be in the region of 3.3m with Saturday seeing 3.9 m journeys and Easter Sunday 4.2m. The peak day for return journeys will, of course, be the bank holiday Monday when we can expect 3.6m heavily packed cars to be heading for home. This means from Maundy Thursday to Bank Holiday Monday there will be over 20m cars using the country’s major roads either heading to or returning from getaway breaks.

Williams continued: “The usual main road arteries will inevitably suffer the consequences of so many people trying to getaway for the double bank holiday weekend by car.

“The advice has to be to head off as early as possible to beat other travellers and to expect heavy traffic and jams on major routes.”

Easter traffic hotspots

  • M5 from Bristol to Taunton
  • A303 Stonehenge
  • A30 and A38 Exeter to Cornwall
  • M4 between Cardiff and Swansea
  • M25 between Gatwick and M1
  • A23/M23 to Brighton
  • A47 Swaffham to Great Yarmouth
  • M55 between Preston and Blackpool
  • A14 between Midlands and East Coast
  • A66 between M6 and the coast
  • M53 between Liverpool and Chester

Easter Getaway Peak Travel Times


Best travel times

Busiest travel time

Maundy Thursday 24 March

Before 4pm or after 8pm


Good Friday 25 March

Before 9am and after 4pm


Saturday 26 March

Before 10am and after 4pm


Easter Sunday 27 March

Before 10am and after 4pm


Bank Holiday Monday 28 March

Before 12pm and after 6pm


Highways England is finishing or pausing work on 208 roadworks projects covering around 450 miles over the bank holiday weekend which will mean 97% of routes will be unclogged by 6am on Thursday, March 24.

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  • Helen - 23/03/2016 17:08

    It's Swaffham, not Swatham!!

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