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Exact date drivers warned not to travel during May bank holiday weekend

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DRIVERS looking to hit the road over the weekend have been warned of “long delays” in what could be the busiest late May bank holiday for years.

According to motoring experts at the RAC, more than 20 million leisure trips will be taken by car between Friday and Monday.


More than 20 million trips will be taken by cars on UK roads over the bank holidayCredit: Alamy
Motorists have been warned of long delays on major motorways


Motorists have been warned of long delays on major motorwaysCredit: Getty

Predicactly, the worst day to travel is likely to be Friday as the start of the long weekend coincides with the beginning of half-term for many schools.

According to transport analytics company Inrix, this could see journeys on the M25 clockwise between Junction 7 for the M23 and Junction 21 for the M1 to be delayed by more than 90 minutes in the late afternoon on Friday.

There could also be delays of up to an hour on the 45-mile southbound stretch of the M5 from Junction 16 north of Bristol to Junction 25 for Taunton, Somerset.

RAC spokesperson Alice Simpson said: “Our research suggests this weekend could be the busiest of the year so far on the roads, with millions of people embarking on getaway trips to make the most of the three days and, for those with school age children, the start of the half-term holiday.

“In fact, we’re looking at possible leisure traffic volumes returning to levels similar to what we last saw in 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak, as drivers’ desire to make the most of the UK increases.

“And, in those places where the warm spring sunshine makes its presence felt, the number of people deciding to get behind the wheel and head for the coast or countryside will only go up, swelling the overall volume of cars on the roads.”

Inrix transportation analyst Bob Pishue said: “With near-record number of travellers expected to be on the roads over the holiday period, drivers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major cities and towards the coasts.

“The best general advice to anyone spending time away from home this weekend is to travel as early or as late in the day as possible to avoid the worst delays.”

This comes as disruption to train services are expected over the weekend too, with Network Rail to carry out engineering works.

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Services on the West Coast Main Line will be reduced due to work around Crewe and Carlisle.

There will be significant changes to services on the Great Eastern Main Line because of work on a new station at Beaulieu Park to the east of Chelmsford.

Trains will also be affected by track renewals between Carstairs and Lanark in Scotland.

Network Rail says it often carries out major engineering work over bank holiday periods to reduce the number of passengers impacted.

This comes as a major theme park owner warns that a popular seaside town could become the “most expensive car park” in the UK after a new price hike plan.

And elsewhere, a village has been cut off thanks to Britain’s ‘biggest pothole’ as huge 41ft crater the length of double-decker bus grounds cars.

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