This Easter is likely to be one of the busiest on the roads in recent years
This Easter is likely to be one of the busiest on the roads in recent years with mild weather replacing the snow and ice of last year, says the AA and traffic information specialist Trafficmaster.
With the Easter holiday falling late this year, Trafficmaster expects getaway traffic to pick up from this Friday afternoon (11 April) as many take the week before Easter as holiday.
The latest AA-Populus poll of 23,911 AA members* revealed that more than half (55%) of respondents may drive over the Easter weekend (19% already plan to drive; and 37% unsure but likely to drive). This could mean around 16 million cars on the roads for a holiday or outing.
The Northern Irish (62%) are most likely to drive over the Easter weekend (18-21 April), followed by those in Yorkshire & Humberside (60%), compared to only half (50%) of Scots.
Those spending Easter away from home will drive an average of 148 miles, increasing to 160 miles for those aged 18-24.
Visiting family or friends is the most common activity (45%), particularly for those in London and South-east England (52%).
With the weather set to be mild, visiting the countryside (33%) is a popular option and those in South-east England (23%) are the most green-fingered with around a quarter (23%) visiting a garden centre, followed by those in the West Midlands (21%).
Getaway traffic is expected to be significant this Friday and Saturday (11-12 April). Congestion will peak on Maundy Thursday (17 April), predicted by Trafficmaster to be the busiest day on the roads so far this year.
According to Trafficmaster, the top five busiest stretches are likely to be:
Easter Sunday (20 April) is generally one of the quietest days on the roads and Easter Monday (21 April) will see heavy homebound traffic from lunchtime onwards, as many schools resume the following day.
While mild weather has thankfully replaced the snow and ice of last Easter, it doesn’t mean drivers should be any less prepared
Tony Rich, AA patrol of the year
Tony Rich, AA breakdown patrol of the year, says: “While mild weather has thankfully replaced the snow and ice of last Easter, it doesn’t mean drivers should be any less prepared.
“It’s going to be busy at times on the roads and, for some people, will be their first long-distance car journey of the year, which can reveal any underlying mechanical problems.
“Do the essential checks on your car before heading off, paying particular attention to the tyres and adjusting the pressures for a heavy load, if required.
“Break up any journey more than three hours long and, if you’re an AA member, you save up to 20 per cent at Moto service areas. Take plenty of things to keep the kids entertained and, at the very least, a fully-charged mobile and atlas or sat-nav in case of any delays.”
Over the Easter period, the AA will have a fifth more patrols than normal on duty to deal with the higher breakdown workload.
(9 April 2014)
* Source: Populus interviewed 23,911 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online panel between 17-24 March 2014. Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.