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Around 15 Million Trips Will Have Been Made By Car This Weekend Survey Suggests

A poll conducted by The RAC suggests that around 15 million leisure trips could be made by car this weekend after the Prime Minister’s announcement last Sunday.

Since the lockdown restrictions were eased this week, people are planning more leisure trips by car a poll has suggested. Motoring group, The RAC, surveyed 1317 drivers after the announcement, and around 46% of respondents said they were planning to take a trip this weekend.

Using statistics on the number of licensed cars on the road at the moment, the group calculated that an estimated 15 million trips could be taken.

The respondents also indicated how far they might travel with around a quarter of drivers, saying it would be within 10 miles of their home. However, 5% would consider going more than 30 miles for exercise.

A spokesman for the RAC said that usually this time of the year there could be traffic jams due to the increase in traffic and good weather. However, “these figures suggest that’s less likely this weekend.” Although the figures seem high, he also added: “the vast majority of drivers we surveyed were not jumping at the chance to drive very much further afield.”

Tourist boards and local authority urging people to stay away

Although restrictions on how far you can travel have been relaxed, many local authorities and tourist boards are still asking visitors to stay away. This is echoed up and down the country. Plus, Wales and Scotland have their own restrictions, and people are being urged not to cross the border for leisure trips.

In The Guardian, Simon Blackburn, the leader of Blackpool Council, said there was “nothing we can do” to stop people coming to the area. However, he added that none of the attractions would be open, and you won’t be able to do the usual things you would on a trip to Blackpool.

Cornwall Council also mirrored this response, and Ruth Goldstein from the public health team commented that social distancing is “absolutely paramount” and that the region is not open for tourism right now.

Busy seaside resort
Credit: ITV News Anglia

Celia Barnes, a resident in Skegness, told the newspaper that she had been shielding for nine weeks. However, now people are allowed to visit her town and that it was not fair on locals for people to be flocking to the area who might be carrying the virus.

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National parks and other seaside locations have also echoed the message as they prepare for an influx of visitors this weekend. The emergency services and volunteer organisations such as the RNLI are also urging people to take extra care when going in the sea or exploring different areas. The message is that the resources are limited and that irresponsible actions could create issues for people that require the emergency services the most.

White lighthouse on island
St Mary’s Island, in Whitley Bay, remains shut

Police in the Lake District said anyone travelling to the national park should “take a long hard look at your own conscience” before heading there.

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