Petrol prices up, bank holiday trips down

Article date: 28 April 2010

  • RAC shares bank holiday congestion hot spots.

Following the recent air travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption, coupled with the ever-increasing price of fuel and an unsettled weather forecast, RAC predicts that many people are more likely to stay at home for the May Day bank holiday and just go out for day trips rather than going away for the whole weekend.

In a recent RAC poll of nearly 7,000 members, almost four in 10 members (37%) called for a cut in fuel duty to help motorists1. The average cost of unleaded petrol is 26% higher than a year ago whilst diesel is 19% more expensive2.

However, for those who are planning on getting away, traffic volumes will begin to increase from Friday lunchtime and last until later than usual in the evening. With more cars on the road holidaymakers are advised their journeys are likely to take longer. Monday will see volumes increase during the afternoon and early evening and Tuesday morning will be busy as people return to work.

Alan Wilcock, RAC Patrol Ambassador of the Year, said: “As with any bank holiday, the roads will be busier than normal and people need to make sure they allow extra time for their journey.  Planning your route in advance can help take some of the stress out of the journey.”

If the weather is good, theme parks and beaches will be popular destinations but many will simply take the opportunity to go shopping so long queues can be expected around the large retail parks.  Local events may also cause congestion (see details below).

To help keep the UK moving on the roads, RAC recommends the following 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.
  5. For live up-to-the minute traffic and travel information motorists can call 64644 from a mobile3 or 09003 444999 from a landline3.
  6. RAC also has an app available to download for free4 which shows the start and end point of traffic congestion.

Potential hot spots5 over the bank holiday weekend include:

South East

  • M25
    • Bucks - between Junction 16 at the M40 and 18 for Chorleywood through the roadworks
    • Essex -  between  Junction 26 for  Waltham Abbey and Junction 28 for  the A12 - major roadworks
    • Essex - at junction 30 (Lakeside shopping)
    • Surrey -  at Junction 9 (Chessington World of Adventures)
    • Surrey - at Junctions 11 and 13 ( Thorpe Park theme park)
    • Kent - at junction 2 (Bluewater shopping)
    • QE2 Bridge
  • M1  at Junction 10 (Luton Airport)
  • M11 at junction 8 (Stansted Aiport)
  • M4 
    • At junction 4 (Heathrow)
    • Berkshire - at junction 6  (Legoland)
  • M23
    • Sussex - at Junction 9 (Gatwick)
    • Sussex - southbound , south  of Junction 10 , and on to the  A23 towards Brighton
  • M20 Kent - coast bound towards Dover
  • M40 - Oxfordshire - at junction 9 for Bicester (Bicester Village shopping )
  • A1M - Hertfordshire - roadworks in the Hatfield Tunnel between junctions 3 and 4.

Events that may cause additional traffic:

  • Truckfest Peterborough – East of England showground, Peterborough
  • South of England Spring Garden & Leisure show, The South of England Centre, Ardingly, West Sussex.

In the Midlands

  • Lincolnshire: the A16 and A52 through Boston, lots of caravans going to and from Skegness and Sutton on Sea
  • Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire: A46 past Newark and Lincoln towards Cleethorpes
  • Warwickshire: M40 around Longbridge Island, Wellesbourne market, daytrippers to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • West Mids/Staffs: M6 from M5 upto J16 travellers to the North/escaping Birmingham
  • Shropshire: A5 Westbound from Shrewsbury out towards Wales
  • Worcestershire: M5 between M42 and J8, A46 and A44 around Evesham and Broadway
  • Herefordshire: A40 from Ross/M50 towards Monmouth
  • A1 between Colsterworth and Blyth can get congested and the A46 between Bingham to up and past Lincoln through Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Event that may cause additional traffic:

  • Leicestershire Show, Melton Mowbray Airfield, Melton Mowbray.

South West

  • A303 Westbound from Bulford to Stonehenge
  • A30 from Devon to Cornwall
  • A38 across Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
  • M4 Westbound from J19 (Bristol) to J20 (Almondsbury Interchange)
  • M5 Southbound from J15 (Almondsbury Interchange) to J30 (Exeter) - whole stretch between Bristol and Devon with denser traffic flows over the split level section
  • A35 between Puddletown and Dorchester and around Bere Regis.

Event that may cause additional traffic:

  • Bath Spring Flower Show, Royal Victoria Park, Bath.

Yorkshire & Humberside

  • Delays on the M1 at J34 for Meadowhall
  • A180 From Grimsby to the motorway
  • M606 from Bradford to the M62
  • M62 around J27 Gildersome.  This often gets congested due to the Retail Park and Ikea
  • M18 towards the M180
  • A61 between Harrogate and Leeds.


South Wales

  • A48 westbound before the Cross Hands roundabout
  • A48 westbound before the Pensarn Roundabout approaching Carmarthen.


North Wales

  • Roadworks on the A55 westbound towards J27 at St Asaph will affect traffic - it is unclear as to whether these works will be lifted for the bank holiday weekend
  • A55 to and from Anglesey approaching the Britannia Bridge
  • A494 Southbound between Drome Corner and Queensferry.

North West

  • M55 towards Blackpool
  • M6 both directions around J32 (people trying to get onto the M55)
  • M6 around J19 with people heading to Tatton Park
  • Routes around Alton Towers - the M6 in Staffordshire and South Cheshire
  • M56 towards North Wales and Cheshire Oaks shopping outlet
  • Routes in and out of Chester
  • A6 in Disley with people heading to Lyme Park
  • M60 around J9 and J10 for the Trafford Centre
  • Lake district - delays in Windermere, Ambleside, Kendal and Ullswater, M6 around J36 and J37
  • Routes in and out of Whitehaven - A595 in particular
  • A66 between Penrith and Appleby.

Events that may cause additional traffic:

  • Carlisle Spring Show - Carlisle City Council, Civic Centre, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8QG
  • Craft & Food Fair - Capesthorne Hall, Primrose Cottage, Howards Lane, Eccleston, St Helens, WA10 5QD.

North East 

  • Metro Centre - extra traffic on the A1, the A19 through the Tyne Tunnel and on the Tyne and Wear Metro
  • A19 from Middlesbrough towards York
  • Middlesbrough - Teeside Park - extra traffic on the A66
  • A167M Central motorway in Newcastle
  • A1 Which becomes the A1(M) from Northumberland to the M1
  • Delays on the M1 at J34 for Meadowhall
  • A1079 between Hull and York
  • A180 From Grimsby to the motorway
  • M621 towards Leeds
  • M606 from Bradford to the M62
  • M62 around J27 Gildersome. This often gets congested due to the Retail Park and Ikea
  • M18 towards the M180
  • A61 between Harrogate and Leeds.

Event that may cause additional traffic:

  • Scarborough Festival of Speed, Car & Motorcycle Hill Climb -  The Circuit Office, Oliver's Mount, Scarborough, North Yorks, YO11 2YW.

South Wales

  • A48 westbound before the Cross Hands roundabout
  • A48 westbound before the Pensarn Roundabout approaching Carmarthen.

North Wales

  • Roadworks on the A55 westbound towards J27 at St Asaph will affect traffic - it is unclear as to whether these works will be lifted for the bank holiday weekend
  • A55 to and from Anglesey approaching the Britannia Bridge
  • A494 Southbound between Drome Corner and Queensferry.

Scotland 

  • A84 at Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling 
  • Stirling Castle, in Stirling town centre 
  • St John's Road / Corstorphine Road in Edinburgh at The Zoo  
  • A84 to Callandar 
  • A91 to/from St Andrews in Fife.

ISDN telephone interviews and filming opportunities at RAC Bescot, with views of the M6 and RAC’s busy call centre are available on request.

-ends-

RAC Press office contacts:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224 / 07800 692909
Lucy Haughey on 01603 688891 / 07800 690149
Erik Nelson on 01603 682264 / 07989 427086 

Notes to editors:

1 RAC surveyed 6988 members between 30 March and 12 April 2010
2 Fuel prices sourced from www.petrolprices.com
3
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.

4 Motorists can download the free app at the iTunes App Store and Android Market.  The app shows start and end points of congestion, overlayed onto Google Maps. The app pinpoints the user’s exact location, meaning an immediate view of regional traffic is easily at hand. Text and audio summaries of traffic conditions are also available

5 According to Trafficlink – the UK’s biggest traffic and travel news provider www.trafficlink.co.uk

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