It’s almost Bank Holiday time again and despite the generally dismal rainy summer, many UK drivers will be heading off for a last break before September arrives. For insurers that means an inevitable rise in claims, breakdowns and vehicle recovery – then storage. The RAC estimates that more than 14m drivers are set to make leisure trips this bank holiday weekend – nearly 2m more than last year, data from the RAC suggests.
Saturday is expected to be the busiest ‘getaway’ day of the weekend on the roads, with the RAC’s research of 2,316 UK drivers showing as many as 3.1m separate trips are due to be taken. Friday is forecast to be the next busiest with 2.8m trips planned, followed by Sunday with 2.3m, while the bank holiday Monday is predicted to see 1.9m. On top of these estimates are another 4.2m trips which will be made at some point over the course of the three-day weekend by drivers who have yet decide which day to travel on.
IE expects a record August Bank Holiday for traffic if – big IF – the weather suddenly turns sunny. Why? Relative to wages and benefits growth fuel is cheaper than at any time since the early days of the pandemic when crude oil prices collapsed. Those who have children will face enormous pressure to “do something” rather than stay home for 3-4 days. Those who don’t have children to entertain will feel that fuel, energy and other bills are probably going to rise in the winter and this is the last chance to get out and enjoy what’s left of the summer weather.
According to the RAC the most popular destinations for the bank holiday weekend are: Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, followed by the West Country (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset), then Wales and Scotland jointly.
POTENTIAL CLAIMS HOTSPOTS
Transport experts INRIX are warning of longer-than-normal journeys on some key routes on Friday around 1pm with delays of 55 minutes on M1 North J12 to J16, 34 minutes on M25 anticlockwise J4 to J1, and 24 minutes on M4 East J29 to J24. On Saturday the worst delay will be 37 minutes on M5 South J15 to J23 around midday as drivers flood to the South West and on Sunday it will be 34 minutes on M1 South J16 to J6 for those travelling around 4.30pm. On bank holiday Monday around 2pm drivers on M5 North J25 to J15 can expect their journeys to take 30 minutes longer.
INRIX advises drivers to avoid using major roads between 10am and 7pm on Friday, between 10am and 3pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and between 10am and 4pm on Monday. The best time to travel on Friday, Sunday and Monday is before 10am whereas on Saturday it’s after 3pm.
Other large events include the Notting Hill Carnival, which will bring some extra traffic in and out from London. The Reading Festival is also happening this weekend, creating jams on the M4 junctions, plus the A33 leading into the city. In the North Creamfields is taking place from Thursday to Sunday, with its usual traffic problems around Warrington and the M56 junctions nearby. There are also over 100 music, Pride related and food themed festivals taking place all over the UK this weekend, some are one or two day events.