Motoring misery and delays are around the corner when schools break up.
The Great British getaway to seaside resorts and beauty spots will mean almost 19 million cars on the road at the weekend, warns the RAC.
Despite rocketing petrol prices, Britons’ appetite for a summer break is likely to mean bumper-to-bumper traffic on motorways and major routes.
The worst jams on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are predicted to be on the M25, A303, M4 and M5.
Stretches such as Maple Cross to the M3, the M23 to the M40, the A303 near Stonehenge, M4 between Cardiff and Newport and M5 south of Bristol are expected to be heavily congested over the weekend with breakdowns adding to the stop-start woes, the RAC said.
The big getaway comes in the face of sky-high fuel costs. Filling a 55-litre family car with petrol is £30 more than last summer and £42 more than in 2020. Diesel car owners will shell out £34 more than in 2021 and £44 more than 2020.
The RAC is urging drivers to ensure their cars are roadworthy before a long trip by checking the oil, coolant and screen wash levels as well as tyre tread and pressure.
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A huge proportion of the 300,000 breakdowns RAC patrols will attend in the next six weeks are avoidable.
RAC’s breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said with the price of fuel and the cost-of-living crisis: “The very last thing drivers want is to break down and, at best, have to wait to be fixed at the roadside or, at worst, face an unexpected large garage repair bill.”