DRIVERS have been warned of mega queues this weekend, as 21million journeys will be made for Easter.
The RAC announced the first bank holiday of 2022 will be the busiest Easter on its records, which began in 2014.
The exodus comes as temperatures are set to soar to 21C, which will be even hotter than Barcelona. The holiday heat will also beat March 23 to become the hottest day of the year so far.
The motoring experts advised drivers to avoid peak travel times if they want to escape for weekend breaks or day trips.
Good Friday will be the busiest day of the weekend, with drivers planning around 4.62m separate leisure trips. Motorists should travel before 9am or after 1930 to beat the worst of the traffic.
Over the rest of the weekend, drivers should set off after 3pm on Saturday and Sunday to avoid queues. While on Monday, the second busiest day to travel, roads will be clearer before 10.30am and after 6.30pm.
The worst congestion is expected on the M6 north between Liverpool and the Lake District, south towards Stoke-on-Trent, the M25 between Surrey and the M40 exit, and the A303 near Stonehenge.
Drivers seeking the sea can also expect jams on major beach-ward roads like the M26 and M6 this weekend.
As well as planning a journey outside peak travel times, there’s another important thing drivers can do. To reduce queues on busy roads, motorists should ensure their vehicle is fully prepared before driving.
Breakdowns can be avoided if you check your oil and coolant levels in advance. Likewise, inflating a tyre properly could save you puncture and the traffic behind you stress.
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Shockingly, only a fifth of drivers always check their cars are road-ready before a long journey, whereas over a third never do, according to the RAC’s research.
RAC traffic spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “The key to avoiding the worst of any jams is planning. Put simply, the earlier you leave in the morning the more likely you are to miss the worst of the queues, especially if you are travelling a longer distance.
"Although a fifth of drivers we polled said they were planning on driving shorter distances this Easter, specifically because of the extremely high cost of petrol and diesel at the moment."
Ben Aldous from the Manchester-based RAC patrol said: “Put simply, a well-maintained car is much less likely to break down than one that hasn’t been looked after.
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"So, if you have a big drive coming up and suspect something on your car’s not quite right then get it into a good garage as soon as you can this week.”
Railway closures could also put stress on the UK’s motorways. Engineering work between London and Birmingham might push more train travellers onto the roads.
Those making their way from Manchester and Liverpool to Wembley to watch the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday could be affected.
Rail strikes in Scotland and the north of England might worsen the weekend traffic as well.
To add to the chaos, Just Stop Oil has been protesting outside fuel stations.
Hundreds of petrol stations across the country are reportedly closed due to the shortages, with the worst-hit areas in the south of England.
However, retailers have reassured drivers to continue buying fuel as usual as there is no need to panic buy.
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