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Quietest spring bank holiday traffic in at least seven years forecast

Traffic levels over this bank holiday weekend are expected to be half of that seen in 2019 as the majority of drivers plan on staying local.

Half as many journeys by car are planned for this bank holiday compared to last year

New research from the RAC suggests drivers are planning just under 10 million separate leisure journeys by car this coming bank holiday weekend; potentially the lowest level in at least seven years.

Around two-thirds of drivers (68%) say they don’t expect to get in the car at all for recreational purposes over the weekend. Among drivers who do plan on taking the car out, half of the trips taken won’t be more than 10 miles in length – suggesting the weekend will be one more characterised by trips to local parks, garden centres and stay-at-home barbecues.

Appetite for journeys has waned compared to last weekend, with two-thirds of drivers not planning any leisure trips at all, according to the research.

However, analysis of RAC ‘black box’ driving data does confirm that more cars are on the road now than before restrictions were reduced  – on average 4% more per day last week compared to the week before, with vehicles travelling 12% more daily miles. The number of breakdowns attended by the RAC also rose by around a fifth over this period.

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: ““Despite the promise of more good weather in the coming days, our research suggests the appetite among drivers for longer day trips appears to remain relatively weak at the moment – possibly due to most tourist amenities being closed, or even perhaps because of fears about the difficulty in maintaining social distancing where there are crowds. So this weekend looks more likely to be one more dominated by barbecues at home and short trips to local parks than lengthy traffic jams on major roads.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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