Easter traffic: This is when roads will be busiest across the bank holiday weekend

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With Easter falling late this year, the bank holiday weekend is likely to be busy as families hit the road for a long-awaited break, says the AA.

The latest AA-Populus poll of 20,778 AA members revealed that three quarters (75%) of respondents plan to drive somewhere on holiday or an outing over the Easter weekend – equating to around 24 million UK drivers embarking on road trips.

But with many households feeling the pinch it will be quieter on the roads than last Easter, with fewer drivers planning to venture out (81% Easter 2018 vs 75% Easter 2019).

Bank holiday traffic will peak on Saturday, April 20, with nearly two thirds (61%) planning a journey by car. Easter Sunday and Monday will be comparatively quieter but will still see 53% respectively (around 17 million drivers) heading out on the road.

George Flinton, AA Patrol of the Year, said: “Despite fewer people planning to get away than last Easter, there will still be a lot of pressure on major routes, particularly motorways and routes to coastal regions and channel ports. Expect delays and allow plenty of extra time for your journey, particularly if you have a ferry to catch.”

As the first major getaway of the year, many drivers (31%) will take the opportunity to visit family or friends over the long weekend (36% of women vs 28% of men). But planned visits to loved ones have significantly dropped against last year, when 37% said they intended travel to spend time with friends and family.

In contrast, with a late Easter bringing hopes of spring weather, the number of drivers planning an escape to the country or coast has risen slightly. With the north expected to see a brighter forecast, more than half (52%) of drivers in the region will be heading to local beauty spots vs just 42% in the south.