People should prepare for long delays if they’re going for an Easter getaway this weekend (Picture: PA)
The RAC has warned of gridlocks on motorways predicting what could be the busiest Easter Bank Holiday weekend in at least eight years.
The breakdown cover company has been tracking traffic levels since 2014 and estimated 21.5 million car journeys will be made between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
RAC traffic spokesperson Rod Dennis said: ‘After two years of relatively quiet Easter bank holidays on the roads, our research suggests a return to traffic levels that are much more typical of this time of year.
‘It’s very possible this weekend could turn out to be one of the busiest for leisure journeys for many years.
‘Add in the impact of disruption on the rail network and one of the biggest fixtures of the sporting calendar taking place this weekend, and you have all the ingredients needed for problems on the roads.
‘Traffic volumes will likely be even higher if some warm spring sunshine makes an appearance.’
The busiest single day on the roads over the bank holiday weekend is expected to be Good Friday.
Drivers wanting to avoid huge queues are encouraged to travel after 7.30pm if possible, or otherwise set off before 9am.
Some of the traffic pictured on the M25 over the weekend – and the delays are expected to increase up to Easter (Picture: Highways England)
Expected congestion hotspots over the Bank Holiday weekend
- The M6 north between Junction 26 (Orrell Interchange, Greater Manchester) and Junction 36 (the Lake District)
- The M25 clockwise from Junction 8 (Reigate Hill Interchange, Surrey) to Junction 16 (Denham Interchange, Buckinghamshire)
- The A303 near Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Mr Dennis further urged drivers to make sure vehicles are prepared for getaway trips.
He added: ‘This is even more important for anyone travelling longer distances than they have for several months.
‘A breakdown is much less likely if a car’s oil and coolant levels, as well as tyre pressure and tread depth, have all been checked before setting out.’
Drivers are also facing the most expensive Easter on record due to soaring fuel prices.
The latest Government figures show the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK stations on April 4 was 161.9p, with diesel at 176p.
Disruption is also expected across other forms of transport over the Easter weekend.
The past few days have seen mayhem at UK airports as airlines have been hit by staff shortages due to coronavirus.
Thousands of flights have been delayed or cancelled by easyJet and British Airways as a result.
Huge queues of traffic are expected to continue in Kent after the suspension of operations by P&O ferries has caused a shortage of sailings across the Channel.
The company, which sacked almost 800 workers recently, aims to resume services this week.
And railways could also be hit by delays over the weekend as Network Rail carries over 530 engineering projects costing a total of £83 million, including between London and Milton Keynes, affecting the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
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