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May Bank Holiday traffic: Brits prepare for almost 17 million journeys this weekend

Try and get out on the roads during off-peak hours as we're set for the busiest May Day bank holiday since 2016

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The Easter bank holiday saw UK roads reach their busiest yet since records began, and it seems we’re in for a repeat this weekend. The RAC expects Brits to be make 16.8million leisure trips by car over the May Day bank holiday, meaning it's set to be the busiest since 2016. Talk about back to normal.  

The RAC said Monday will be the busiest day of the long weekend, with 3.3 million journeys planned, most likely Brits returning back from their short getaways. As for the actual weekend, Saturday is expected to be a bit busier than Sunday with 3m trips planned compared to Sunday's 2.3m. There are an anticipated 5.6m more journeys to be made between Friday and Monday. But with the UK weather being typically unpredictable, 2.3 million of these will only be made if the weather is good.  Fingers crossed for some sunshine!

Although 16.8million trips is obviously a very large amount, the ongoing fuel crisis is anticipated to have a small reducing effect on the overall number. With the RAC reporting that 14% of motorists may opt to stay put due the cost of petrol and diesel. The percentage is more than double, compared to the amount of drivers who chose to stay home due to this reason during the Easter Bank Holiday. 

RAC traffic spokesperson Rod Dennis said: "We expect routes to classic tourist hotspots - especially the coasts - to clog up on Friday afternoon and through Saturday morning, although according to our research Monday could turn out to be the busiest day of the long weekend."

cinch advises that motorists should set out during off-peak hours if they can, to avoid the queues.

Safety advice for long journeys 

We strongly advise motorists to check their vehicles are prepared for their Bank Holiday road trips. This can simply done by checking tyre pressure, tread depth and their cars' oil and coolant levels. See cinch's guide below on how to do these maintenance checks before you set off.

Engine coolants and fluids 

The AA estimates that around six million motorists could face repair bills in excess of £1,000 because they don’t check the coolant levels of their car’s engine regularly enough. 

Once a week, owners should therefore check the level of the car’s coolant, which not only prevents overheating in the summer, but also freezing in the winter, as well as corrosion in the engine. You should do this check when the engine is cold, making sure that the level is between markers indicating the minimum and maximum levels.

But engine coolant isn’t the only fluid that should be checked regularly. The brake, clutch and power steering fluids in your car also need to be monitored before a long trip. Speak to your mechanic to get advice on how to check these on your car.

Tyres - Air pressure and tread

The air pressure in your tyres is affected by increases in air temperature, so hot weather can lead to their overinflation. 

This means tyres get worn quicker and a greater strain is placed on any weak areas, so punctures and blowouts are more likely. The key thing to remember is to check tyre pressures regularly (aim to check them every couple of weeks).

Enjoy the bank holiday and good luck avoiding the traffic!