Early May Bank Holiday

Travel Advice

28 April 2010

AA patrols will be working as normal this bank holiday weekend

  • Busy weekend on roads despite unsettled weather forecast
  • Full sporting schedule as football season nears end
  • AA patrols working as normal as strike action called off

Travellers frustrated by inclement weather at Easter, recent air travel problems deterring overseas breaks and a busy weekend of sport are likely to encourage more people to hit the road this Bank Holiday weekend than last year, according to AA Roadwatch.

Localised congestion is likely on most major routes, particularly in the southern half of the country where the weather is predicted to be warmer, while more unsettled weather in the north may make it more of a DIY weekend than a barbecue one.

Edmund King, AA president, says: "This Bank Holiday is often referred to as a 'grass-cutting weekend' as people tend to stay at home. They tend to travel further afield over the later Bank Holidays when the weather is a bit warmer. However, we expect many people will take a chance with the weather and travel, so there will inevitably be some traffic building up on popular routes."

Weekend sport

As the football season draws to a close, there is a full fixture list with Arsenal fans having to travel the furthest in the Premier League to get to their match at Blackburn (222 miles according to the AA route planner); closely followed by Bolton fans going to Tottenham (217 miles); and Chelsea making the trip for the crunch match at Liverpool (216 miles).

Sunday sees the final league matches in the Championship with champions Newcastle facing a long journey to QPR matched by Peterborough travelling to Plymouth (both 283 miles).

Breakdown workload

Last year, the AA attended around 22,000 breakdowns over the Early May Bank holiday, which is barely busier than a normal weekend and considerably quieter than the later Spring Bank Holiday.

Threatened strike action over proposed changes to its pension scheme was called off, as the AA and the union agreed revised proposals, which the union is now recommending. AA members will receive a full service as usual this weekend.

Edmund continues: "Although the roads won't be as bad as the next Bank Holiday, there will still be a lot of people racking up big mileages this weekend, so we are putting extra patrols on duty. Before heading off, spend a few minutes doing the recommended checks on your car and plan some stops to break up the journey."

To help motorists beat the hotspots the number for the AA's traffic and travel advice line, AA Roadwatch, is 84322 or enter 'the AA' on your mobile phone keypad or call 0906 88 84322 from a landline*.


The AA would like to remind its members that the threatened industrial action over proposed changes to its pension scheme was called off. There will be a full service for AA members as usual this weekend.

Travel advice

AA advice on how to prepare for Bank Holiday journey

  • Plan your route in advance and allow plenty of time for the journey
  • Check local traffic and weather reports – call AA Roadwatch on 84322
  • Travel when the roads are quieter
  • If tired, stop and drink one or two cups of coffee or other caffeinated drink and take a short nap of no more than 15-20 minutes
  • As one of their member benefits, personal AA members get 20% off food and drink at Moto service areas when they show their membership card
  • Check oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels, cooling fan operation, lights and tyre pressure (check when tyres are cold and increase pressure for heavy loads if necessary) and tread depth – not forgetting the spare and any caravan/trailer – before hitting the road
  • Pack the car safely being careful not to overload or obstruct vision
  • Keep plenty of refreshments on board and plan car games to keep children comfortable and happy throughout the journey

* Calls to AA Roadwatch cost up to 65p per minute. Calls should not last longer than 90 seconds.


28 April 2010