Warning of ‘unprecedented’ summer traffic for UK’s roads
‘Unprecedented’ levels of traffic are forecast for the UK’s roads this summer as millions plan staycations, bringing the prospect of lengthy bumper-to-bumper queues on major routes.
An estimated 29 million staycations are planned for the summer, according to a study of 2,500 drivers conducted by RAC Breakdown.
A total 16 million of these are planned for the summer holidays but a third of drivers are planning to go away in September. And a fifth (18%) of respondents are yet to decide which week they are going.
The number of drivers making firm staycation bookings has surged 20% since April, with the RAC figures suggesting the West Country – Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset – will receive the largest numbers of holidaymakers (30%), followed by Scotland (14%), Yorkshire (8%), the Lake District (6%) and East Anglia (6%).
Just 7% of drivers expect to take a summer holiday elsewhere in Europe, down from 10% in April. And of those drivers who are still holding on for a foreign trip this summer, 34% say they will end up holidaying in the UK instead if pandemic restrictions affect their plans.
Drivers were also asked how far from home they’ll be holidaying in the UK, and results suggest many of us will be travelling much further than usual. The majority (57%) say they’ll be more than 150 miles from home, with 17% of these more than 300 miles from home. But interestingly a third of drivers (33%) who had a staycation in 2020 say they’ll be driving greater distances in the UK this year, perhaps to explore new corners of the country.
RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “With the school summer holidays just days away, a second ‘staycation summer’ in a row now looks like a certainty and will mean millions of us relying on our cars to get us wherever we want to go.
“Our research shows that while most people have already made their plans, if – as expected – travel restrictions limit the numbers taking foreign holidays, then those booking last-minute trips in the UK will likely soar, adding to what we expect to already be an extremely busy summer on the roads.”