The last bank holiday weekend of the summer is set to be dry and bright, but people heading off might find themselves in long traffic jams.
The RAC estimated that 16.7 million leisure trips on UK roads were planned for between Friday and Monday, with hopes of good late summer weather possibly seeing even more people jumping in their car for a day trip or last-minute break.
The Met Office said most of the UK is set to be dry and bright for the duration of the three-day weekend after weeks of wetter than usual weather for August.
It’s been a very busy summer on the UK’s roads with vast numbers of people on the move for ‘staycation’ holidays and day trips 🏖️
— The RAC (@TheRAC_UK) August 27, 2021
The best conditions can be expected in Northern Ireland and western Scotland on Saturday, but there is likely to be fine, dry and settled weather in most other areas too.
As the weekend progresses, the warmest temperatures are expected to be in southern England, with highs of 22C (71.6F) or 23C (73.4F) and the potential for an isolated 24C (75.2F) or 25C (77F).
Revellers at the Reading and Leeds Festivals can enjoy bright conditions over the weekend, with highs potentially reaching 21C (69.8F) in Reading on Sunday and 17C (62.6F) in Leeds.
However, those camping in Leeds should pack warm layers, with temperatures set to drop to 10C-11C (50F-51.8F) overnight.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “It will be a largely fine and settled weekend; there’s very little – if any – rain in the forecast.”
He said conditions are expected to cool slightly going into Monday.
But people will be hoping getting to their destinations will not be complicated by heavy traffic.
At 4pm on Friday there was “severe” congestion on a number of motorways in England including on the M1, M5, M6, M25 and M56, according to the National Highways website.
There was also stationary traffic on the A303 near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, which is a popular route for people travelling towards the South West.
AA president Edmund King described the M25 as “full”, adding that other major roads were “very busy”.
RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said “bumper-to-bumper bank holiday traffic” was expected, especially on the most popular holiday routes.
He urged motorists to carry out essential checks on their car, such as ensuring tyres are properly inflated and have plenty of tread, and that oil, coolant and screenwash are at the correct levels.
National Highways said about 98% of England’s motorways and major A roads were free of roadworks over the weekend.
Transport analytics firm Inrix had urged motorists to avoid setting off for getaway journeys on Friday afternoon due to heavy traffic.
Inrix analyst Bob Pishue said: “Drivers hitting the road for one last getaway before the end of summer should expect long delays on key corridors.
“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic.”