* 46 per cent of AA members likely to travel this weekend
* People in Northern Ireland and North-east (51%) most likely to hit the road, followed by Yorkshire & Humberside and East Midlands (49%)
* Day trip (42%) most popular with AA members and coast/seaside (47%) top attraction
* Packed weekend of music, sport and other leisure events
* Drivers will be paying around £1 a tank more for petrol and diesel compared to the Diamond Jubilee weekend
Traffic will build up from mid-afternoon on Friday (24 August) as people take advantage of the final weekend of summer and the diverse range of Paralympic, leisure and sporting events, says AA Roadwatch and traffic information specialist Trafficmaster.
Some of the highlights include: Paralympic Flame Festivals and Flame Celebration Events, Reading and Leeds music festivals, Creamfields in Cheshire, Towersey Festival in Oxfordshire, Greenbelt 2012 festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, rugby league Challenge Cup final at Wembley and Notting Hill Carnival among many others
Traffic and travel
Results from the latest AA/Populus poll of 20,029 AA members* show that 46 per cent of respondents are likely to travel this bank holiday weekend with the Northern Irish and those in the North-east (51%) most likely, followed by Yorkshire & Humberside and East Midlands (49%). The Scots (40%) are least likely to be getting behind the wheel.
Of those hitting the road, a day trip is the most popular outing (42%); close to a third (30%) plan a weekend away; and around a fifth (18%) will be going on or returning from a longer holiday. The coast/seaside (47%) remains the most popular destination, then visiting family (41%) with more than a fifth (22%) opting for either a National Park or special event.
Top five congestion hotspots according to Trafficmaster
· M3/M27/A31 from Winchester (J9) to Dorset coast;
· M4 between London and M5 interchange (J20);
· M5 from Almondsbury (M4) to Exeter (J31);
· A303 from M3 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset;
· M25 Western Sector between M1 interchange (Junction 21) and M3 interchange (Junction 12)
(Source: Trafficmaster. Comprehensive list in note to editors)
In Scotland, it isn’t a bank holiday but the Edinburgh Festival runs till 2 September, which causes additional congestion in the capital.
Next week (28-31 August) commuters will benefit from a quieter week on the roads but traffic will peak again next weekend (1-2 September) as people head home.
Andy Smith, AA patrol of the year, says: “With some events rescheduled to avoid the Olympics, it’s an even busier weekend of music, sport and other events. These will generate localised congestion, particularly at finish time, so plan your journey accordingly and check the traffic reports before departing.
“Also carry plenty of drinking water, food and things to keep the children entertained and allow a few minutes to do the basic checks on your car before departing, paying particular attention to tyres, cooling system and operation of the cooling fan.”
Bank holiday fill-up
Bank holiday drivers will be paying around £1 a tank more for petrol and diesel compared to the Diamond Jubilee weekend (2-5 June). At the beginning of June, petrol across the UK averaged 134.68 pence a litre and diesel 140.18. Now, after a 6 pence-a-litre increase since the summer low-point on 1 July, the average cost of petrol is 136.94 pence a litre and 141.66 for diesel.