The influx of visitors to the UK for the London Olympic games is about to be matched by a mass exodus of Brits departing the country for their annual holiday.
Now that the school holidays are underway it is estimated that as many as two million British holidaymakers could be leaving the UK this weekend and heading for the sunshine resorts in Europe and beyond. Heathrow Airport alone expects to speed the departure of 482,000 British travellers over the next two days. 50,000 more will exit on Eurostar trains through the channel tunnel. Provincial airports are also likely to experience their busiest weekend of the year.
For those holidaying at home, the Automobile Association (AA) has issued a warning for potentially busy roads from mid afternoon today, with routes to the seaside resorts of the southwest likely to be busiest, along with roads around cross-channel ports and major airports.
The traffic to UK resorts is likely to be bolstered by the promise from the Met office of better weather in the next few days, after the country has endured several weeks of rainy conditions.
A survey of more than 20,000 AA members by AA/Populus indicated that around 25 percent of respondents will not drive as far for this year’s holiday as they did last year. Least likely to exceed last year’s mileage are Scots, Londoners and people from the northwest of England. The survey also revealed that Londoners are the most likely to take a foreign holiday, while the Welsh are the most likely to forego this year’s holiday completely.