August Bank Holiday 2013

weekend traffic and travel update

Up to 45 per cent of AA members will likely drive this August bank holiday weekend, averaging 50-60 miles a day

Up to 45 per cent of AA members will likely drive this August bank holiday weekend, averaging 50-60 miles a day

Up to 45 per cent of AA members will likely drive this August bank holiday weekend, averaging 50-60 miles a day. This equates to around 16 million drivers on the roads on what will be a packed weekend of leisure and sporting events, says the AA.

According to traffic information specialist Trafficmaster, some of the highlights include several music festivals – Reading and Leeds, Creamfields in Cheshire, Towersey Festival in Oxfordshire, Greenbelt at Cheltenham Racecourse, CarFest South near Overton, Hampshire, and South West Four on Clapham Common, London – plus a full football fixture list; The Ashes cricket at The Oval, London; rugby league Challenge Cup Final at Wembley; and Notting Hill Carnival among many others.

  • Up to 45 per cent of AA members likely to drive this weekend, particularly Northern Ireland (52%) and North-east (51%)
  • Day trip (51%) most popular with AA members and coast/seaside (41%) top attraction
  • AA members will average 50-60 miles a day behind the wheel over weekend
  • AA research shows many drivers aren’t fully prepared
  • Packed weekend of music, sport and other leisure events

Travel expectations

The latest AA-Populus poll of 23,824 AA members* shows that the Northern Irish (52%) are most likely to drive over the weekend, followed by those in the North-east (51%) and Yorkshire & Humberside (48%).

Those driving will average 62 miles on Friday and bank holiday Monday (23 and 26 August) and around 52 miles on Saturday and Sunday (24 and 25 August).

A day trip is the most popular outing (42%); close to a third (30%) plan a weekend away; and around a fifth (18%) will be going on or returning from a longer holiday. The coast/seaside (47%) remains the most popular destination, then visiting family (41%) with more than a fifth (22%) opting for either a National Park or special event.

The August bank holiday is still one of the busiest travel periods of the year. There’s also a packed schedule of sport, music and other events, which will generate localised congestion

Tony Rich, AA patrol of the year

Traffic update

Trafficmaster expects congestion on holiday routes from mid-afternoon on Friday (23 August). Routes to the South-west are likely to be the busiest and, depending on the weather, heavy traffic may be experienced on routes to the coast.

Next week (27-30 August) commuters will benefit from a quieter week on the roads but traffic will peak again next Sunday (1 September) as people head home.

Tony Rich, AA patrol of the year, says: “While the forecasted unsettled weather may help take the sting out of the traffic, the August bank holiday is still one of the busiest travel periods of the year. There’s also a packed schedule of sport, music and other events, which will generate localised congestion, particularly at finish time.”

Traffic hotspots and roadworks

According to Trafficmaster, these are likely to be the top five August bank holiday traffic hotspots:

  • A303 Westbound from M3 Junction 8 to A30 at Upottery, Devon
  • M25 Western sector both ways between Junction 21 (M1 interchange) and Junction 10 (A3 interchange); and South-eastern sector both ways between Dartford crossing and Junction 7 (M23)
  • M3/M27/A31 Southbound from Junction 9 (A34) to M27 at Junction 13; and M27/A31 westbound towards the Dorset coast
  • M4 Westbound from Junction 1 (Chiswick) to Junction 13 (Chieveley); and between Junction 18 (Bath) and Junction 20 (Almondsbury Interchange/M5)
  • M5 Westbound from Junction 15 (Almondsbury Interchange/M4) to Junction 31 (Exeter South)

Roadworks

It is expected that all scheduled roadworks on trunk roads and motorways in England and Wales will be removed or suspended over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Scotland

In Scotland, it isn’t a bank holiday but the Edinburgh Festival runs till 1 September, which causes additional congestion in the capital.

Preparation advice

Separately, AA-Populus results** show that many drivers aren’t fully prepared for a long car journey in summer. While more than four-fifths (82% rising to 84% in East Midlands and Eastern England) take a fully-charged mobile phone, fewer carry basic items like food and drink (71% rising to 75% in North-west England) and a road atlas (69% rising to 76% in Eastern England).

Which of the following do you carry?

  Men (%) Women(%)
Fully-charged mobile 80 85
Sunglasses 73 78
Food and drink 68 78
Sat-nav or printed route 72 68
Road atlas 69 68
First aid kit 56 49
In-car phone charger 48 37
Warning triangle 47 33
Personal medication 41 44
Tyre pump and pressure gauge 43 27
Reflective jacket(s) 40 24
Spare bulbs 38 22
Items to entertain children 21 24
Spare engine oil 18 14

At the very least, take plenty of drinking water and a charged mobile phone

Tony Rich, AA patrol of the year

Tony Rich says: “At the very least, take plenty of drinking water and a charged mobile phone. On busy bank holiday roads, a sat-nav and road atlas will help in case of any unexpected diversions or delays.

“Before heading off, check the travel reports and spend a few minutes doing the basic checks on your car, paying particular attention to tyres, cooling system and operation of the cooling fan.”


(20 August 2013)

*Populus interviewed 23,824 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online panel between 8-14 August 2013.
**Populus interviewed 23,450 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online panel between 11-17 June 2013.
Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.