Coronation Travel Update

Major road disruption in London meaning many travellers will stay local

Two-thirds not driving into London for 6th May, amidst security checks and diversions

02 May 2023

As the nation prepares to celebrate the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the AA has issued a travel update reminding those planning to travel to London and those driving locally to expect traffic restrictions and diversions.

A recent survey* of 13,364 drivers revealed that three-fifths (62%) have decided not to drive on the day of the Coronation (Saturday 6th May) and may use public transport or other forms of transport, such as bicycles instead.

The AA is advising the 12 million** drivers who still plan to drive, to be prepared for some minor local disruption as some roads close temporarily to allow street parties to go ahead safely. Check council websites for travel information on planned closures and diversions ahead of your journey to save time, fuel and frustration.

Nick Powell, AA Patrol of the Year, said: “The AA has a strong tradition of supporting the Royal family, so we’re pleased to be able to provide support with strategic signage for King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s Coronation just as we did with Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953.

“Though the majority of people are likely to be travelling locally on coronation day, we’d still advise them to make sure their car is safe to use by checking the basics like oil level, coolant and tyres. There is likely to be some minor congestion in built-up areas as Brits party in the streets, so we advise drivers to check for local travel updates before they set off.

“Our patrols will be working as normal, and they’ll do their very best to keep our Members on the move and will do all we can to get them to the party on time. We’d advise drivers to check their breakdown cover just in case the worst happens.”

Despite a mixed weather forecast, the survey revealed that one in six (16%) plan to attend a barbecue with family and friends while a further sixth (16%) will join the celebrations at a locally organised event such as a street party or village fete.

Chris Sheldrick, Co-Founder and CEO of what3words commented: “The Coronation weekend is likely to be very busy across the UK. People will be driving to watch the festivities in person, or to spend the long weekend with loved ones. what3words is a valuable tool that enables you to communicate precise locations with three simple words, whether that’s in the event of a breakdown, or if you need to find friends and family amongst the crowds.”

More than half (54%) of respondents who are planning to set off by car are in the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups. Drivers in Northern Ireland are most likely to drive somewhere over the long weekend (53%) but those in Scotland (67%) and London, (67%) are most likely to leave their cars at home.

The AA’s Royal history

The AA will be working behind the scenes of the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla by providing strategic signs for many of the support teams who are on duty to ensure the event runs smoothly. 

Coronation aa signs may 1953

It is the second time the AA has helped with signs for a Coronation event; in 1953 the AA supported with signage for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II including car parks and routes to Buckingham Palace. The AA also produced maps for drivers on foot, however with the advent of the internet there will not be paper AA maps for the Coronation in 2023. 

Aa coronation day route map 2 jun 1953

Twenty years later, the AA welcomed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the grand opening of its new headquarters at Fanum House, Basingstoke, Hampshire in November 1973.

Fanum house queen opening 19 nov 1973

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was also President of the AA between 1951-1961. In recognition of His Royal Highness’s close association with the AA, CEO, Jakob Pfaudler and current AA President, Edmund King OBE, attended his Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in 2022. 

Prince philip 1951agm

The AA was also proud to provide signage for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in 2018. Since then, the AA has also been honoured with visits from members of the Royal Family including a recent trip by HRH Princess Anne to the AA’s Operations Centre and Patrol Centre of Excellence in Oldbury, West Midlands. 

*Yonder conducted an online survey of 13,364 UK adults aged 18-65+ between 5th to 19th April 2023. Data is weighted to be representative of the population of the UK. Targets for quotas and weights are taken from the PAMCO survey, a random probability survey conducted annually with 35,000 adults. Yonder is a founding member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

**Comparative figures with the number of registered vehicles in the UK (33.1 million) in September 2022 – Vehicle licensing statistics: July to September 2022 - GOV.UK (

Photo details:
25 July 1951: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends our Annual General Meeting in the Connaught Rooms, London as the AA President.
November 1973: Queen Elizabeth II opening Fanum House 
AA printed Roadmap for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
Signage being prepared ahead of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

About what3words
Co-founded in London in 2013 by Chris Sheldrick, what3words is a simple way to talk about precise locations. A what3words address is a human-friendly way to share very precise locations with other people, or to input them into platforms and machines such as ride-hailing apps or e-commerce checkouts. It is optimised for voice input and contains built-in error prevention to immediately identify and correct input mistakes.

The free what3words app, available for iOS and Android, and the online map enables people to find, share and navigate to what3words addresses in 54 languages to date. Millions of what3words addresses are in use around the world, with thousands of businesses using them to save money, be more efficient and provide a better customer experience. what3words is easily integrated into apps, platforms and websites. Products are available for free or for a nominal fee for qualifying NGOs. Its partners include Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, Evri, Subaru, Lamborghini, DPD, DHL, the AA and many emergency services across the world.

what3words has a team of over 150 people, across offices in the UK, USA, Germany, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. The company has raised over £100 million in capital from investors such as Intel, Ingka (Ikea), Mercedes-Benz, Aramex, Deutsche Bahn, Subaru and Sony Innovation Fund.

The Coronation - Transport for London (