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Weekend of ‘traffic hell’ for long-awaited overnighter

Sleepover Saturday: Jams expected PICTURE: LNP

DRIVERS on English roads could face the heaviest traffic of the year this weekend as lockdown rules are eased.

Some 31 per cent of drivers — around 10.5million — will be using a car for an overnight trip, an RAC poll showed.

The lifting of restrictions means Saturday will be the first time in more than three months that English residents can spend the night away from home.

The survey of 1,400 drivers found 11 per cent will stay with a family member, eight per cent will go to a friend and six per cent are planning an overnight camping trip.

A further six per cent will spend the weekend at a caravan site, in self-catering accommodation or at a hotel, bed and breakfast or second home.

RAC Breakdown spokesman 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 queues likely to be dependent on 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.’

He said that, while research suggests ‘weekend traffic could be the heaviest of the year so far’, a breakdown could make matters even worse.

The RAC is advising motorists to carry out checks before hitting the road, including tyre condition and pressure plus oil and coolant levels.