Easter travel advice

AA predicts a congested Maundy Thursday on major routes

2 April 2009

AA Roadwatch has a new number - call 84322 or enter 'theAA' on your phone keypad

A third (32%) of motorists in the UK – nearly 10 million – are expected to hit the roads this Easter weekend, despite the credit crunch and forecasts of mixed, unsettled weather new research from the AA / Populus Panel reveals. Airports are also expected to see fewer visitors as people choose to spend their holiday weekend in the UK rather than abroad.

In particular, the UK's largest motoring organisation is expecting Maundy Thursday to be the busiest day this year as 30% of drivers are planning a weekend break. The AA predict that these people will hit the roads early to make the most of the public holiday and attempt to avoid the Good Friday congestion on major routes.

With another 45% planning to take day trips over the Easter bank holiday, routes to popular attractions and seaside resorts are expected to be busy.

According to the AA's route planner, the most frequently requested routes have included seaside towns such as Brighton and Bournemouth, and the historic cities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and Nottingham.

Traffic hotspots

Information supplied by Trafficmaster for the AA indicates traffic hotspots for the period to include:

  • A303 westbound
  • M5 westbound
  • M6 southbound
  • M25 between junctions 12-17 and junction 27
  • Channel Tunnel and Ferry ports
  • M1 northbound
  • M6 Toll
  • M56 westbound
  • M6 northbound from junction 30

With roadworks remaining in place on:

  • M1 northbound - Junction 6a-9
  • A3 Hindhead
  • M27 junction 3-4

In 2008, the AA attended nearly 60,000 breakdowns over the Easter weekend so motorists are being advised to take some simple preparations that will help them avoid a breakdown.

AA Patrol of the Year, Andy Taylor, explains: "Motorists might be under the impression that because of the credit crunch roads will be much quieter than usual – but we don't expect this to be the case. Our AA/Populus survey shows an increase of 13% on last year for motorists planning to drive either for a weekend or day trip, so congestion could potentially be worse than usual.

"We always advise drivers to make careful preparations before setting out on a journey, including finding out about local traffic and weather conditions. Checking your car's coolant and oil levels, battery, tyre tread and pressures can all make for a much smoother, incident-free journey. With unsettled weather predicted this weekend, make sure you check your headlights and windscreen wipers too."

For motorists wanting advice on making key checks before they travel, the AA has created a set of podcasts featuring experienced AA patrols demonstrating simple car care procedures. The AA is advising drivers heading out this weekend to view the 'how to check windscreen wipers' and 'preparing for a journey' podcasts.

Join the discussion in the AA zone


2 April 2009

AA/Populus interviewed 13,332 members online between 27th March and 1st April 2009