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RAC warns of ‘Bad’ Friday congestion this Easter

RAC Traffic Watch data shows a total of 16.8 million car journeys will be made over the Easter weekend as people make the most of the long weekend.

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 3.3 million with Saturday seeing 3.9 million journeys and Easter Sunday 4.2 million.

Bank holiday Monday will see 3.6 million heavily packed cars to be heading for home. This means from Maundy Thursday to Bank Holiday Monday there will be over 20 million cars using the country’s major roads either heading to or returning from getaway breaks.

Simon Williams added: “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 Swatham 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


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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.