Quietest Easter on the roads in at least eight years predicted
Road traffic over the Easter weekend is likely to be at its lowest level in eight years, although traffic could rise towards the end of the school holidays.
RAC research shows drivers are planning just 5.6 million trips by car to see friends and family this Easter when Covid restrictions allow; down some 54% on the 12.2 million that were planned in 2019 for Easter and the lowest number since the RAC began tracking motorists’ plans in 2014.
The RAC Breakdown survey of 1,200 drivers suggests many people remain cautious about meeting up over Easter, with 25% saying they are not planning a trip specifically because of the pandemic. Of those who will be driving to see family and friends outdoors, Good Friday looks to be the most popular day with the equivalent of two million separate journeys taking place, followed by Saturday and Easter Sunday (1.3 million per day).
However, the easing of lockdown could see a surge in traffic during the second week of school holidays, peaking on Monday 12 April – when it’s expected that restrictions will ease further and self-catered holiday accommodation may be able to open, as well as outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks.
Between Friday 9 April and Sunday 11 April drivers are planning 5.3 million separate leisure journeys, rising to 2.3 million alone on the Monday before tailing off during the remainder of the week.
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “If the day does get confirmed by the Government, and it coincides with fine weather, there’s every chance we could see a real ‘rush’ on the roads in some parts of the country.”
Data from transportation analytics specialists INRIX suggests that some of the busiest roads could be the A303 near Stonehenge, the A3 and A205 in south London, the A66 near Keswick and the M5 in north Somerset.