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Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Press release -

Nearly 18m getaway car trips planned as schools break for Jubilee half-term

Drivers are planning on making 17.8m leisure trips this weekend as schools break for half-term and preparations get underway for the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, research from RAC Breakdown suggests.*

Based on the travel plans of 1,425 UK drivers, the RAC expects motorways and major A-roads to be busiest on Saturday with an estimated 4.6m trips taken, followed by tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday with 4m journeys each day. Drivers expect to take an additional 5.3m at some point between tomorrow and the end of the weekend.

Data from transport experts INRIX shows the potential for some delays across the country, in particular the M1 southbound between J16 and J6 on Friday evening, the M25 anticlockwise between J17 and J12 on Saturday morning and A720 west between the A1 and the M60 clockwise between J7 and J18 on Sunday afternoon.

The RAC is reminding drivers to check over their vehicles before setting out after separate research** revealed that less than a fifth (17%) admit to always checking things like oil, coolant and tyres prior to a long journey, with a quarter (24%) never doing so at all.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said:

“All eyes might be turning to the long Jubilee bank holiday just a week away, but before then we have the start of half-term which will no doubt see major routes to holiday destinations start to clog up. Drivers can beat the worst of the queues by planning the time of their trips carefully – an early start is always best or, failing that, driving at dusk if that’s a feasible option.

“Motorists can cut the chances of becoming a breakdown statistic by completing some quick pre-journey checks – check your oil and coolant levels, the latter is especially important if the weather warms up, ensure your tyres have plenty of tread and are inflated to the correct pressures, and top up your screenwash. If you’re making a longer drive, keep yourself alert and everyone in your vehicle comfortable by planning in regular breaks.”

The RAC has also put together a comprehensive guide to how to avoid breakdowns experienced in warmer weather to help drivers.

Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said:

“Even with fuel prices continuing to rise, we still expect travellers to hit the road during the half-term break. Drivers should expect congestion on major roads around big cities and popular destinations. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”


Top tips from RAC patrols on avoiding a breakdown

Manchester-based patrol Ben Aldous said: “Put simply, a well-maintained car is much less likely to break down than one that hasn’t been looked after. So, if you have a big drive coming up and suspect something on your car’s not quite right then get it into a good garage as soon as you can this week.”

Kevin Andrews, who is works in the Bath area, advised: “Keep your locking wheel nut somewhere you can easily find it as this makes it quicker for us to do a tyre change if needed. Make sure that everything fixed to the outside of your car – bikes, roof boxes – are properly secured. If you’re travelling with a dog, again ensure it’s secure inside and has some food and water. And download and use the free MyRAC mobile app as it makes it much easier for us to find you.”

Stuart Lurc, who is based in Salisbury, added: “Check your tyres every time, especially the inside front edges. You can fully lock the steering one way or the other so you can see the condition of your front tyres easily. And whatever you do, don’t start a journey with a known problem!”

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