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This month, as millions prepare to pack up and enjoy the last bank holiday weekend, Brits are bracing themselves for serious traffic congestion on the roads, with TomTom reporting that traffic congestion levels in the UK have increased by 5% since last year. 

And with British Airways, Network Rail and the Civil Aviation Authority putting a further spanner in the works, announcing strikes, works and disruption, Halfords is reporting that 46% of us are choosing to take a break in the UK, shunning the stress of flying to hit the road instead. 

But driving this bank holiday weekend comes with its own potential pitfalls. TomTom has predicted that, based on last year’s August bank holiday weekend, drivers should expect traffic across many of the motorways throughout the weekend. TomTom is warning motorists to stagger or avoid travel between 10am and 2pm on Saturday August 26th, across all routes, as many set off on their trips, and to expect delays on Monday August 28th between 12pm and 7pm as staycationers head for home. 

Research by Halfords has revealed that a quarter of drivers have little confidence in checking their car before heading out on a long road trip – things like checking tyre pressure and topping up water and oil are important checks before any long journey. The research also found that 53% of motorists are unaware they are driving with unsafe tyres and 31% only check their screenwash once it stops working rather than topping up regularly. 

To help avoid getting stuck on the side of the road, Halfords is offering motorists a free seven point check that includes checking screenwash, air con, oil, blades, bulbs, batteries and checking your windscreen for any chips, advising on anything that needs to be topped up and directing customers to the right products for their vehicle.   

Natasha Chauhan from Halfords’ motoring team said: “We advise drivers to allow plenty of time for their bank holiday journeys and plan for any expected delays. We know that almost half of us are staycationing this bank holiday, and traffic will be really heavy at some points. 

“As always drivers should ensure they do some basic visual checks before heading off, and we can help with that with our Summer Checks. And the best bit, there’s no appointment necessary – just head to your local Halfords or Halfords Autocentre to make sure you’re bank holiday road trip ready and can make the most of your time doing what you love most.” 

Using historic traffic records TomTom have compiled a list of the UK’s most popular bank holiday routes and included the best times to travel. 

M5 – between Exeter and Bristol

 

  • Friday before 4pm or after 9pm
  • Saturday before 10am and after 6pm
  • Monday unlikely to be busy

M1 – between Luton and Sheffield

 

  • Friday before 12pm or after 7pm
  • Saturday before 10am or after 2pm
  • Monday unlikely to be busy

M6 – between Preston and Penrith

  • Friday morning or early afternoon, until 4pm
  • Saturday before 9am and after 6pm
  • Monday before 12pm and after 7pm

M40 – between Uxbridge and Oxford

  • Friday before 11am and after 5pm
  • Saturday before 11am or after 6pm
  • Monday before 3pm or after 4pm

A303 – between Andover and Yeovil

  • Friday before 3pm and after 7pm
  • Saturday before 8am or after 2pm
  • Monday before 2pm or after 5pm


A TomTom spokesperson said: “We know that traffic congestion is up 5% this year, and we saw traffic hotspots last year on the bank holiday weekend. The technology to plan the best routes for any journey already exists – and our early warnings and suggested routes mean that we can help motorists spend less time at standstill.” 

Halfords will be offering 15% off all TomTom traffic Sat Navs until September 3rd.

For further information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or 020 7287 5006

For more information visit www.halfordsautocentres.com or www.halfordscompany.com