Follow RAC Press Centre

Nearly a million more leisure trips by road this coming August Bank Holiday Monday

Press Release   •   Aug 21, 2017 16:12 BST

Five million leisure journeys by car are expected to take place this coming bank holiday Monday,* up nearly 1m (22%) on 2016 as drivers seek to make the most of the last public holiday this side of Christmas.**

In total more than 18 million separate getaways by road are planned between Thursday 24th August and the bank holiday itself, according to research of drivers’ travel intentions conducted by the RAC. While traffic is likely to peak on Monday 28th at 5m journeys, Saturday also looks to be a popular day for travelling by road with 4.4m separate journeys due to take place.

Drivers will benefit from the lifting of around 450 miles of roadworks by Highways England leaving 98% of the nation’s motorways and major A-roads roadwork-free, and helping to ease the flow of traffic on some of the country’s busiest stretches.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “While summer appears to have taken a leave of absence for many of us, our figures suggest drivers are undeterred and are still keen to make the most of the long weekend to spend time with friends and family in the UK.

“We recommend motorists wanting to beat the queues travel outside peak times – so avoid Friday afternoon and evening if you can and try to get away in good time if you are planning a day trip on Monday, or face a long journey home at the end of a summer holiday.

“It only takes a single breakdown on a congested road to cause real disruption, so we also advise drivers to complete some quick, basic checks that can reduce the chances of their vehicle being the culprit. Make sure your tyres are in good condition and are properly inflated, and check your oil, coolant and screenwash are all at the right levels. Don’t forget to fully charge a few mobile phones before you set out too so you can reach help should you need it.

“And remember your passengers – long car journeys can be testing for young children especially so take water and snacks for them, plan some in-car entertainment and schedule plenty of breaks.”

The RAC has published a guide to alternative bank holiday stop-offs for those looking for a change from the usual motorway services areas. The RAC app, free to download for iOS and Android devices, also offers up-to-the-minute traffic information and smart route planning guidance.

Car journeys by day

Thursday 24th August 2.5 million
Friday 25th August 3.1 million
Saturday 26th August 4.4 million
Sunday 27th August 3.4 million
Monday 28th August 5.0 million
Total 18.4 million

Notes to Editors

* Research of drivers’ travel plans conducted for the RAC by Ragdoll Research. Base: 1,884 motorists surveyed during August

** This bank holiday applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

For all media enquiries, please contact the RAC press office team on +44 (0)1454 664 123. The line is manned by an on-call press officer outside office hours.

Our press team can:

  • Answer all RAC-related media enquiries
  • Provide comment on all topical UK motoring stories
  • Provide motoring research and data to inform debate
  • Give motoring advice for broadcast or publication
  • Arrange interviews with RAC spokespeople - ISDN radio studio facilities available

You can also follow the RAC press office on Twitter: twitter.com/RAC_Press


About the RAC

First formed in 1897 the RAC has been looking after the needs of its members and championing the interests of motorists for 120 years.

Today it has more than eight million members and is one of the UK’s most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information – the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

The RAC is the motorist’s champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.

The RAC’s annual Report on Motoring – first published in 1989 – provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today’s motorists.

For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. RAC Fuel Watch is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices – both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.

Key facts:

  • RAC patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside and on average within 30 minutes
  • RAC vans carry more than 500 parts and tools to get members’ vehicles going again
  • 92% of members would recommend RAC Rescue to their friends and family