Weekend traffic above pre-pandemic levels as Brits make up for lost holidays abroad

Changes in the way we work and enjoy leisure time during the pandemic have had a noticeable impact on traffic patterns.

Government statistics for June 1 – 27 show that weekday traffic is six per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels, but weekend traffic has increased to 105 per cent.

A survey of 2,003 UK adults on behalf of car servicing and repair firm Kwik Fit found that although about 7.4 million people are travelling less at weekends than before the pandemic, this number is outstripped by those making more leisure journeys.

According to the research, the most popular reason for travelling more on Saturday and Sunday is that many people believe they will not get a holiday abroad this year and want to make the most of their time in the UK.

An almost identical number said they were travelling more to visit friends and family that they haven’t seen for a long time because of pandemic-related restrictions.

Other common reasons for increased weekend travel included avoiding public transport and people wanting to explore more after being restricted to their local area for the past 12 months.

Many drivers admitted that they wanted to make the most of restrictions lifting where possible in case further limits are placed on travel again, while others said they miss driving during the week now that they work from home.

Bank Holiday getaway
(PA)

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, warned drivers to take extra care when driving if using their car less often.

He said: “When we are not using our cars every day, it’s easy to get out of the habit of regular checks and maintenance, especially during the pandemic when people’s normal routines have been turned upside down.

“Drivers may also become slightly complacent if they are not relying on their cars to get to work each day. We encourage motorists to get back into the habit of checking their car over, keeping a particular eye on tyre pressures and tread.”