Are You Ready For The 10 Million Car Traffic Jam?

Tue 30th Jun 2020

Traffic analysts from one of the UK’s leading motoring organisations are warning that this weekend’s relaxation in lockdown rules could see a surge of traffic on the road networks.

A survey of 1,400 drivers by the RAC found that 31 per cent of motorists were planning to travel and stay overnight in England on the weekend of the 4th July. The boost in car journeys has been made possible due to the government’s decision which allows people to travel to and stay in the houses of friends and families. With more than 34 million driving licences held in England, could that mean that an estimated 10.54 million people are planning to travel to, and stay over with family? Of those surveyed by the RAC, a further 11 per cent said they would be going to stay at friends, the equivalent of 6.46 million journeys.

The increase in traffic will be boosted by the fact that campsites, hotels and B&Bs are also allowed to open for the first time since 23rd March, nine per cent of the RACs survey admitted that they were likely to take advantage - three million more cars on the roads!

The RAC usually predicts busy bank holidays as the busiest times for Britain’s roads, but those estimates only consider the impact of 12 million cars on the roads, spread over three days. If the RAC’s survey analysis for this weekend plays out then we could see the busiest period of traffic since records began.

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis said: "These figures suggest that after 15 weeks of lockdown, a large proportion of drivers in England are desperate to reconnect with friends, family and indeed nature by staying overnight, be that in a house or on a camping or caravan site.

"This could lead to some busy conditions on the roads, with the location of queues likely to be dependent on just how far people travel – motorways and major A-roads could end up taking the brunt of the traffic if people have longer distances to drive to see family and friends or to take a weekend break.

"While our research suggests weekend traffic could be the heaviest of the year so far, a breakdown has the potential to make matters even worse.”