Traffic jams alert as 10million motorists plan to hit the road on Super Saturday to escape homes for an overnight stay, poll finds
- Over 10million will be escaping for overnight stay on July 4, found poll from RAC
- Date has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ due to pubs and restaurants reopening
- It starkly contrasts two months ago, when traffic plummeted to mid-1950s level
- One fifth of motorists, equivalent to 6.5m, planning to stay with friends or family
A third of drivers will take to the road this weekend to celebrate the easing of the lockdown, according to the RAC.
More than 10million of us will be escaping our homes for an overnight stay on July 4, the motoring group’s poll found.
The date has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ due to pubs and restaurants reopening. Officials are now braced for chaos on what is expected to be the busiest weekend on the roads this year, as many choose to avoid public transport for fear of infection.
A third of drivers will take to the road this weekend to celebrate the easing of the lockdown, according to the RAC (pictured: a car park in Camber Sands on June 25)
It marks a stark contrast to two months ago, when the traffic on the roads plummeted to mid-1950s levels.
A fifth of motorists, equivalent to 6.5million, are planning overnight stays with friends or family, while around two million drivers will head off for ‘staycation’ breaks at campsites, the poll found.
Some 680,000 drivers plan to visit caravan sites, while one million will stay in hotels, B&Bs or other self-catering accommodation.
The predictions are based on a survey of 1,400 drivers. In recent days, the number of breakdowns has returned to levels normally expected for late June.
But, as many drivers have not used their cars for weeks or months, rescue and recovery firms are braced for a sharp rise in incidents this weekend.
The RAC’s Rod Dennis said: ‘These figures suggest that after 15 weeks of lockdown, a large proportion of drivers in England are desperate to reconnect with friends, family and indeed nature by staying overnight, be that in a house or on a camping or caravan site.
A narrow lane in St Ives, Cornwall, leading to the beachfront. Officials fear that cars blocking up the narrow, winding roads will make it hard for tourists to follow social distancing rules
People forget social distancing on a very busy Wandsworth common. July 4 has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ due to pubs and restaurants reopening
‘This could lead to some busy conditions on the roads, with the location of queues likely to be dependent on just how far people travel. Motorways and major A-roads could end up taking the brunt of the traffic if people have longer distances to drive to see family and friends or to take a weekend break.’
The weekend traffic forecast is certainly worrying residents in the former fishing town of St Ives in Cornwall.
The return of the Great British staycation:
- Contactless check-in at hotels, bed and breakfast and camp sites
- Campers will have to stay in their car until they are directed to their pitch
- In all settings they will be expected to stay over a metre apart from someone else
- Breakfast buffets and mini bars are all out for the time being
- Visitors could be asked to bring their own toilets with them
- Guests will also be asked to bring their own hand sanitiser and soap
- All paperwork and phones will be removed from hotel rooms
- Camp sites will clean their toilets six times a day
- In hotels and bed and breakfasts deep cleans after guests have left
- Multiple family holidays are strictly reduced to just two households
- Guests are not allowed to have visitors to where they are staying
Britons will be able to take holidays in beauty spots in places like Devon and Cornwall – as the Prime Minister officially announced staycations from July 4.
Boris Johnson made the announcement in the House of Commons, paving the way for families languishing in lockdown to finally get away from a break.
Hotels were given the green light to throw open their doors as long as they were kept clean and safe.
Officials fear that cars blocking up the narrow, winding roads will make it hard for tourists to follow social distancing rules when on foot, increasing the risk of a second wave of coronavirus. As a result, the streets have been closed to most traffic during the day.
A ‘keep left’ system will also be introduced. Officials said the plan ‘reflects the town’s almost unique challenge of accommodating 220,000 visitors (on top of a higher number of day trippers) with a resident population of approximately 11,000’.
A document published by St Ives Town Council, Cornwall Council and St Ives Business Improvement District said: ‘Even in a normal year, pedestrians are in conflict with vehicles, crushing on to the pavements to allow them to pass.’
Those heading on staycations this summer will have to adhere to new safety measures, with guests expected to remain more than 1m apart from others.
There will also be contactless check-ins, increased hygiene measures and guests will not be permitted to welcome any visitors during their stay.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week dramatically unwound the coronavirus lockdown, bringing the country out of ‘hibernation’ — with a return for pubs, haircuts and weddings and family and friends getting the green light to meet up indoors for the first time in months.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to ‘make life easier’ after an ‘incredibly tough time’ with bars, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers in England able to get back up and running from July 4.
Meanwhile, a streamlined application process will enable pubs and restaurants to get permission for on-street dining in around 10 days.
Outlining reforms aimed at boosting the hospitality sector as it prepares to reopen on July 4, Business Secretary Alok Sharma stressed there were safeguards for local councils to refuse applications if they block the highway.
The new measures, which have cross-party support, form part of the Government’s Covid recovery plan.
Speaking during the second reading of the Business and Planning Bill, Mr Sharma said: ‘Public safety and access for disabled people using pavements is of course absolutely vital, so I can confirm that local authorities will be able to refuse or revoke licences where appropriate.’
He added: ‘There are safeguards in place. This extension will not include premises that have been denied off-sale permission, or had it removed, within the last three years.’
Picturesque St Ives in Cornwall is among towns to shut down roads to help social-distancing when tourists return for staycations from July 4
By Danny Gallagher for MailOnline
One of the UK’s most high profile tourist spots is shutting down roads in order to assist social distancing as the masses arrive to squeeze in a summer holiday.
St Ives in Cornwall is expected to be bristling with tourists once more in the coming weeks, after the Government gave the green light for the UK’s travel industry to get back up and running on July 4.
Bookings are already rising for staycations as people look to make the both of the combination of lockdown easing and good weather. St Ives plans to combat this by making all roads vehicle-free between the hours of 11am-4pm, as reported by the Telegraph.
St Ives in Cornwall is expected to be bristling with tourists once more in the coming weeks, after the Government gave the green light for the UK’s travel industry to re-start
The winding, narrow streets of the picturesque Cornish town are well known for causing large queues and pile-ups, as the thousands of daily tourists battle to squeeze around cars on the cobbled walkways.
Such scenarios in the coming weeks would pose an immediate risk of potential covid-19 transmission, with social distancing measures near impossible to execute.
Decisions have been made therefore to removes all vehicles from the streets in the central area of the town during core day-time hours, aside from emergency and essential vehicles.
‘The proposed road closure will start from the Tregenna Place and Gabriel Street junction (or library corner as it is known locally),’ St Ives Town Council confirmed in a statement.
‘The barrier will run across Tregenna Place, opposite Wetherspoons. This will keep the three-road junction at library corner flowing and maximise the ability of vehicles to leave without entering the zone.
The winding, narrow streets of the picturesque Cornish town are well known for causing large queues and pile-ups as tourists squeeze around car congestion to navigate the shops
‘All residents who have a home in the zone, provided they have the vehicle registered at the address will be issued a permit.’
Ron Johns, owner of St Ives Bookseller, told the Telegraph: ‘I have no idea if it’s going to work or not, well it has to work’. Despite this however he feels the action taken will ‘definitely’ make it easier to uphold social distancing ‘because the streets are very narrow in Cornwall.’
Many tourist hotspots around the UK are set to follow suit, with several having already made alterations to road systems in order to best facilitate visitors. They include;
St Ives follows in the footsteps of other popular destinations nearby including Falmouth.
Located on the peninsular’s opposite coast, a number of streets have been closed in the town centre for several hours a day since June 15 and will continue to run as such throughout the re-opening of the tourism season.
Pavements are being widened on some 13 streets including Camden Road, Manvers Street, Monmouth Street and Moorland Road, in order to accommodate the return of shoppers.
Thousands of visitors each year flood to the quaint Somerset city, to take in the unique architecture and visit the world famous Roman Baths.
Restrictions will be in place from 10am to 6pm each day.
Thousands of visitors each year flood to the quaint Somerset city, to take in the unique architecture and visit the world famous Roman Baths
A one-way pedestrian flow system has been implemented on the city centre’s busiest streets, in order to avoid severe congestion.
A cycle-popular city, bicycle lanes are now being widened throughout, to encourage cycle travel further still.
Widened footways and enforced pedestrian areas are now becoming common place as, like Oxford, Cambridge looks to keep tabs on its high tourist population.
One-way access to narrow passageways in the city centre will be implemented, in order to stop bottlenecks and mass convergences.
Systems will also be placed around the University collage buildings, popular with visitors hoping to take photographs.
One-way access to narrow passageways in Cambridge city centre will be implemented, in order to stop bottlenecks and mass convergences
The local council have outlined a number of proposals to close a number of streets with ‘a challenging combination of narrow footpaths, small premises and high demand’ from July 1.
Residents of the north Tyneside area received a letter in which they were given prior warning of the plans, to come into place ‘in time for the start of the busy summer season’.
Park View in the seaside town of Whitley Bay and North Shields Fish Quay are among those included.
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