Waze predicts gridlocked roads to UK holiday hotspots this summer

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With COVID-19 restrictions lifted and domestic getaway bookings at an all-time high, Waze predicts that the ‘Summer of Staycations’ will cause chaos on UK roads. New research from the crowdsourced sat-nav app looks at what this means for drivers as they hit the roads this summer, and how to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

Despite a surge in foreign travel bookings following relaxed COVID restrictions on July 19, uncertainty on travel to date has led to two thirds of Brits polled booking a holiday in the UK this year. This is a 52% increase on the number of UK holidays planned on a ‘typical’ year (27%).

The sudden spike is bad news for drivers – over half (53%) of whom state traffic is their biggest gripe when headed on a domestic holiday. It’s especially worrisome for those headed to the Lake District, Cornwall and Devon, which respondents indicate are the most popular destinations this year (21%, 21%, 19% respectively).

As a result, routes like the M6, A30, A38, M5 and A303 are likely to be hotbeds for traffic throughout the summer season. Meanwhile, thoroughfares to major UK airports like Heathrow, Bristol and Manchester are expected to become congested by those risking international travel, following bookings to amber destinations increasing by up to 400% since the previous policy change.

“Our data shows a huge eagerness to get back on British roads this summer, and there are already more cars than ever being driven following the initial relaxing of restrictions in April, says Ru Roberts, Waze UK Country Manager. “Without proper planning, the UK motorway network will become gridlocked, which is not only a bad start to a staycation, but a substantial trigger for the 43% of respondents who become frustrated with just 30 minutes of traffic. Where possible, avoid travelling during peak hours, plan your journey ahead of time and consider a route which may be longer in miles but fewer in cars.”

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Lauren is acting associate editor for Traffic Technology International and freelance journalist. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide variety of B2B publications and websites, including a stint as deputy editor of Traffic Technology International from 2014-2016. She has a degree in English from the University of Exeter. Lauren is mum two busy little girls. She is always in demand!