12m drivers due to embark on bank holiday getaway
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
Nearly two out of five drivers are planning a getaway by car this bank holiday weekend, according to a new survey.
An AA poll of 16,500 motorists indicated that 37% will hit the road for a leisure trip between Friday and Monday.
This equates to around 12 million drivers.
If wet weather persists, more families will spend the bank holiday closer to home
The proportion of motorists planning a trip is lower than the previous two August bank holiday weekends, with 42% last year and 45% in 2018.
The AA believes that while many roads will be busy, traffic volumes are likely to be reduced due to events not taking place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Music concerts, festivals and sporting fixtures which normally attract bumper crowds and cause delays on the roads have been cancelled.
Stormy weather in recent days and a mixed forecast for the weekend could also put some people off from embarking on long journeys.
The Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond said conditions would be “settled but more chilly for the bank holiday weekend”.
Ben Sheridan, AA patrol of the year, said: “As the last getaway opportunity of summer, the August bank holiday weekend is usually busy on the roads.
“This year, if wet weather persists, more families will spend the bank holiday closer to home.
“But those who are planning to recapture the feeling of freedom a road trip brings should still expect localised traffic, especially around popular holiday destinations such as coastal resorts, countryside campsites and beauty spots.
“If you’re planning a long weekend or a day out, preparation is key. It’s a good idea to check traffic conditions on your route and take some time to check the car before you go.”
Many train journeys will be disrupted this weekend as Network Rail carries out engineering work.
Upgrades are taking place on the West Coast Main Line between Liverpool and the West Midlands.
This means no services will run between Rugby and Coventry on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
Separate signalling upgrades in Liverpool will see trains diverted on to different routes and rail replacement buses in operation between Warrington, Runcorn, Crewe and Liverpool South Parkway.
Some lines between London St Pancras International and Cricklewood, north-west London, will be closed due to engineering work.
Passengers are being urged to plan their journeys in advance.
Network Rail acknowledged there is “never a good time to close the railway” but insisted that when it does, it carries out “as much work as possible to minimise disruption”.