RAC takes the toll out of motoring this Bank Holiday

Article date: 18 May 2009

  • The driving people will pay the M6 Toll for thousands of motorists over the entire Bank Holiday weekend

RAC is giving motorists something to smile about over the Bank Holiday weekend by paying for 3,000 cars to go through the M6 Toll. Recent RAC research shows that more people are planning to stay in the UK this year, so the motoring organisation is set to bring some cheer and goodwill to the weekend by paying for 1,000 lucky motorists' tolls every day throughout the Spring Bank Holiday. 

This unique gesture will see RAC covering the cost of 3,000 motorists' toll fees, from Saturday 23 May to Monday 25 May inclusive. The offer will be open to drivers heading both North and South on the main M6 Toll plaza over the weekend and lucky drivers will be selected at random by toll staff to have their £4.701 toll paid as they go through the manned booths.

Supporting this initiative, Vicki Butler-Henderson, presenter of Fifth Gear, says: "I've never heard of a motoring organisation doing anything like this before so I was very keen to get on board with RAC. Whilst getting away for the weekend can be a real treat, the stress of the journey and the costs incurred can put a dampener on driving, so RAC's gesture will certainly be a pleasant surprise for motorists this Bank Holiday weekend."

The initiative comes as RAC shares its Bank Holiday traffic and travel predictions. Set to be one of the busiest this year as half term and the Bank Holiday coincide, RAC predicts that millions of motorists will hit the road and the traffic will build up on all major routes throughout the weekend. Traffic will be heavier still if the sun shines and families flock to the beaches.

As an extra incentive for drivers, an RAC patrol will also be on hand at Norton Canes, the M6 Toll service station, to provide free spot checks including tyre pressure, oil and water checks. All motorists have to do is stop off at Norton Canes Motorway Services on the M6 Toll road, between JT6 and JT7 which can be accessed from both directions. Motorists will also be eligible for a 20% discount when purchasing breakdown cover from RAC Direct Sales Force or Patrols at Norton Canes.

Saj Arshad, director of RAC sales and marketing, added: "RAC is passionate about getting people moving and we wanted to do something unique and cost-cutting for motorists this bank holiday, and it was great that the M6 Toll were really keen to partner with us on this initiative. As the driving people, it seems fitting that we can help reduce motorists' Bank Holiday costs and generally bring some cheer to the journey, as well as easing congestion on one of the UK's busiest roads."

RAC anticipates that busy routes will include:

From London
To the North: M1, A1, A1(M)
To the North West: M1, M6, M6Toll
To Scotland: As above, plus A74M, M74
To Wales and Westcountry: M4 (also for Heathrow) M5
To the South West: M3, A303, M5
To Gatwick: M23
To Stansted: M11  

From Birmingham
To London and the South East: M1 or M42/M40
To the South Coast: M40/A34
To the South West: M42/M5
To the North: M42/M1 (also E.Mids Airport)
To Scotland & North-West: M6, A74M, M74
From the North West
To London & South East: M6, M6Toll, M1 or M42/M40
To the South West: M6, M5
To the North East: M62, M1, A1
To Scotland: M6, A74M, M74                                                                 

RAC is also warning that if the weather is sunny, congestion on the main holiday routes will include:

  1. Routes to the west of England (M4, M5, A303)
  2. Routes from Northern England to North Wales (M56, A55) 
  3. Routes to the Lake District (M6, A590) 
  4. Routes to Blackpool (M55) 
  5. Routes between the Midlands and Norfolk (A47).


For further information please contact:

Katie Raven at Frank PR on 020 7693 6999 or email rac@frankpr.it

RAC press office:
Erik Nelson at RAC on 07989 427086 or Vicki Burn on 07800 692909

Notes to editors:

1 £4.70 on Monday but the cost will be £4.50 on Saturday and Sunday

Terms and conditions:

  • The scheme will allow through 1,000 motorists per day Saturday 23 May - Monday 25 May inclusive
  • Motorists whose toll charge is covered by RAC will be selected on an ad hoc basis by M6 Toll staff.
  • This initiative is only applicable to drivers of cars.
  • Spot checks will be provided for drivers free of charge at Norton Canes Road Chef between the hours of 10am to 4pm on Saturday 23 May - Monday 25 May only.

RAC Tips for motorists to make the most of their bank holiday weekend:

  1. Plan your route in advance of your journey and have an alternative at the ready in case of delays. Check local radio stations or RAC Route planner at www.rac.co.uk/
  2. Allow extra time for your journey, especially if you are heading for a popular resort or you are travelling at peak times
  3. Make sure you have enough fuel for your journey. Be aware that the stop/start actions of sitting in traffic jams use more fuel.
  4. Checking oil and water levels and the pressure and condition of the tyres before setting off could help to prevent a breakdown.

For live up-to-the minute traffic and travel information motorists can call 64644 from a mobile* or 09003 444999 from a landline*

*calls from a mobile are charged at 60p per minute at all times, charges will appear on your network provider phone bill, alternatively you may call 09003 444999 from a landline, also charged at 60p per minute.All call charges are inclusive of vat at 17.5%.

Using a mobile phone incorrectly whilst driving can be dangerous and may endanger the safety of other road users. It could also be illegal. You should not hold a phone when driving, and should exercise due care and attention, even when using hands free equipment.

RAC recommends that you use 64644 to plan your journey before you depart, and park safely before using the 64644 service, or use a suitable hands free device.

About RAC  
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists.  Whether it's roadside assistance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs. RAC incorporates RAC Insurance.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer service by J D Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last three years.

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005.  The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (soon to be Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15%. 

RAC is part of  Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries. 

RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.

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