Quietest Bank Holiday weekend in seven years with 9.4m journeys

This weekend will be the quietest spring break on the roads in at least seven years, a new survey suggests.

A RAC survey found that 9.4 million vacation trips are made by car between Saturday and Monday, compared to 16.8 million over the comparable period last year.

It is the lowest total since the car service company started researching holiday travel in the spring in 2014.

About 68% of the 1,500 British motorists surveyed do not expect to get into the car for recreational purposes over the long weekend.

While 15% of respondents said they plan to drive no more than 10 miles for their free time, while 8% travel from 11 to 30 miles.

The hunger for a longer journey is small, with only 3% of people driving more than 30 miles.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said people “would much rather stay at home than pack the car for a day out”.

He continued, “This weekend will be anything but a traditionally sunny party weekend, and in fact it may be the quietest nationally on the highways and major roads ever.

“There will still almost certainly be traffic jams on local roads leading to beaches, parks and other beautiful places, probably consisting of people who live within easy reach of these destinations.

“While it was true that some parking garages in popular locations filled up quickly last weekend, it was positive to see that many of the fears surrounding people swarming to tourist destinations did not translate into widespread problems.

“Tourists and police are hoping for something similar next weekend.”

People across the UK are urged not to use public transport if possible.

Network Rail has issued a warning to people whose journeys “must be made by train” this weekend that 490 technical projects are being disrupted that are disrupting services.

Major projects include:

– A range of works in the Leeds area, meaning there are no direct trains between Leeds and Harrogate

– Installation of nearly a mile of new track between Fareham and Eastleigh in Hampshire, closing the line for seven days from Saturday

– Renovation of the rail infrastructure between London Victoria and Herne Hill / Peckham Rye, meaning that Southern and Thameslink services will not serve London Victoria.

Andrew Haines, CEO of Network Rail: “This holiday, to ensure that our railways are at their best when we get out of this pandemic, we continue to work on and invest in the rail network to make it more reliable for passengers.

“That means some journeys can be different, so if you have to travel, check your journey before you leave home.”

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