Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Millions of Britons are set to take to the roads over the Easter weekend

Two million people will leave country for holiday weekend, travel association predicts.
The travel association Abta said it expected two million people to leave the country for the weekend in search of warmer climes.

Spain is the most popular destination but city breaks are also in demand, with Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin being the top three choices, said Abta, formerly the Association of British Travel Agents.

"Easter is the traditional curtain-raiser to the summer, and I am delighted to see that hundreds of thousands of our customers are taking the opportunity to take a well-earned break," Abta's chairman, John McEwan, said.


The RAC said nearly half of all car owners had spent an average of £115 more on maintenance than last year because of the coldest winter conditions in 30 years.

The RAC predicts that more than 20 million motorists will take to the roads to make this one of the busiest Easter getaways for years, with many planning journeys of more than 90 miles.

However, the motoring organisation said the rise in fuel prices had led to many people deciding against Easter travel.

Unleaded petrol prices have increased 24%, with an average tank of petrol costing an extra £12. The average cost of a tank of diesel has increased by 15% to £64.68.

The AA, which dealt with more than 50,000 breakdowns last year, is predicting a large number this year because the bank holiday weekend will be the first long journey of the year for many people.

The M1, M3, M4, M5 and M6 are also expected to be congested, and the AA predicts that the M20 will be busy south of Ashford, in Kent, as holiday traffic mixes with lorries heading for the Eurotunnel.

The M25 is expected to suffer the worst delays, with widening work continuing between junctions 16 and 19 and junctions 27 and 30. Major roadworks will be in place at 40 other locations across the country.

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