Bank Holiday getaway to peak TONIGHT as millions of Brits hit roads

Bank Holiday getaway to peak TONIGHT as millions of Brits hit the roads ahead of the forecast of a scorching 82F BBQ weekend

  • Temperatures in South East England could reach 82F (28C) by Monday – higher than on the French Riviera
  • Met Office says the conditions are being caused by area of high pressure due to dominate southern Britain
  • But research by the RAC has concluded that Friday will be the busiest time on the roads, with 2.86 million trips
  • RAC said 4pm to 7pm will most likely be the busiest period on the roads as people embark for pleasure trips

Bank holiday getaway traffic is set to peak tonight as people make an expected 2.86 million trips in cars, new figures suggest, as Britain prepares to bask in sunshine this weekend.

Research by the RAC concluded that 4pm to 7pm will most likely be the busiest period on the roads as motorists embarking on pleasure trips battle for space with regular commuters.

A total of 8.5 million leisure journeys are expected on the road between Friday and Monday.

It comes after a hot and sunny Bank Holiday weekend – which could be with us into the middle of next week – was forecast.

The travel plans of more than 2,500 UK motorists were analysed for the research on this weekend’s traffic.     

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘While wall-to-wall sunshine might not be on the cards for everyone this bank holiday weekend, many will still be keen to make the most of the early May warmth by escaping in the car to spend time with family or friends.

‘While motorists have told us about their firm travel plans as part of our research, if we see things really warm up by the weekend it’s likely to mean millions more cars on the road, which is bound to cause queues on popular routes.

‘We urge all drivers to give their cars a quick once over before they set off, especially if they are planning on driving any great distance.’ 

By Monday, temperatures in South East England could reach 82F (28C), higher than on the French Riviera, Southern Spain or even Morocco.  

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This was the scene yesterday as boats lined the River Thames in Goring, Oxfordshire, as owners relished the welcome heat

The holiday weekend starts early in sunny Weymouth (pictured yesterday) where visitors have enjoyed warm sunshine all day

Cyclists in the 2018 Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire were treated to fields full of bright flowers as they left Beverley yesterday

Rows of cyclists could be seen travelling alongside the colourful greenery as they travelled through the Yorkshire town during yesterday’s racing 

The trees were in bloom in Kew Gardens yesterday as a woman (pictured) walked through the Rhododendron dell in the park

Visitors to the sandy beach in Weymouth, Dorset, started the weekend early by enjoying the heat on offer throughout the day yesterday

Members of the public enjoy an array of colourful plants at Kilver Court Gardens near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, yesterday as the attraction basks in glorious springtime sunshine

A family soaked up the sun as they took a walk through the bluebells found at Kew Gardens in Kew, London during the warm weather yesterday

A couple holds hands as they look out on the people relishing the heat on the beach in Weymouth, Dorset, as Britain basked in sunshine yesterday

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    Temperatures starting to rise in south Oxfordshire as the sun shone on the River Thames in Goring yesterday during the warm weather 

    Canal boats sit in the glorious sunshine while resting along the River Thames in Goring, Oxfordshire, yesterday


    A man (left) took advantage of the lovely weather yesterday to work on a canal boat while others lined the River Thames in Goring Oxfordshire

    A little girl discovers different pebbles on the picturesque beach in Weymouth, Dorset, as she sits with an adult near the sea

    A stunning view of Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast at sunrise yesterday morning, as temperatures start to rise again

    And the sizzling temperatures could even break records, forecasters say.

    The Met Office said the conditions are being caused by an area of high pressure which is due to dominate southern Britain over the coming week. 

    Met Office deputy chief meteorologist Chris Bulmer said: ‘We can’t promise wall to wall sunshine for everyone this Bank Holiday weekend. However, it’s looking like a most of us will get to see some warm sunshine at times.’

    The current record for the warmest early May Bank Holiday Monday was May 1, 1995, when 83.4F (28.6C) was recorded in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

    Scotland and Northern Ireland are set for cooler, more changeable weather over this weekend, with outbreaks of rain in the West.

    Warm temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit, or 20s Celsius, are expected across England and Wales from Saturday through until Tuesday.         

    A number of rail services will be disrupted by engineering work.

    People walk and cycle along St John’s Street in Cambridge yesterday on a warm May morning as temperatures rise in England


    The sun shines down on Cambridge yesterday morning as people make their way to work on foot and by bicycle

    Government-owned Network Rail will carry out more than 820 projects during the two bank holiday weekends in May.

    The organisation says it schedules work for bank holidays as there are fewer passengers than normal on those days.

    Between Saturday and Monday Liverpool’s mainline services will be reduced, with some replaced by buses or diverted via Manchester.

    Significant work between Glasgow and Edinburgh means East Coast services will start and terminate at Edinburgh while West Coast trains will not run north of Lancaster/Oxenholme Lake District on Sunday.

    Rail connections to the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, will be severed on Sunday, when there will also be no trains serving London Paddington.

    Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: ‘Thousands of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver crucial upgrades to the rail network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.


    The weather is hotting up for the Bank Holiday weekend, with temperatures above for Wednesday (left) and Monday (right)

    ‘This huge investment programme will provide faster, better services and help relieve over-crowding to respond to the huge growth on Britain’s railways.

    ‘While most of the network is open for business as usual, some routes are heavily affected and so we strongly advise passengers to plan ahead this May.’       

    Forecasters haved warned the warm sunshine will lead to higher than normal levels of UV radiation, meaning a risk of sunburn. Pollen levels are also set to increase to at least moderate levels.

    Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans said: ‘The South East of England looks as though it’s going to be the warmest and sunniest part of the country.

    ‘Temperatures look set to build day by day, reaching the low 20s (70s Fahrenheit) by Saturday, perhaps a maximum of 25C (77F) on Sunday and 27 to 28C (81 to 82F) on Monday.

    ‘There is an outside chance the highest temperature recorded last month could be beaten.’ 

    This year’s warmest temperature so far of 84.3F (29.1C) – the hottest April day since 1949 – was recorded in London on April 19. 

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      Miss Yeomans said the hot weather will persist in southern areas on Tuesday although conditions could break down later in the week with cooler temperatures.

      Coastal fog is expected in the mornings as the weekend goes on, and there is a ‘low risk’ of thundery showers in the south. 

      The warmest weather is expected from Sunday as winds swing round to blow in from the continent rather than the Atlantic.

      Monday’s highest temperatures should easily beat those expected that day in many parts of Europe and even parts of north Africa.

      Barcelona is set to be just 70F (21C), while 73F (23C) is expected in Nice, on the French Riviera and in Malaga, on the Costa Del Sol, and 75F (24C) in Rome. Marrakech in Morocco is only forecast to reach 73F (23C).

      Miss Yeomans said the warm and sunny weather forecast for southern Britain is a reversal of conditions in early May last year. 

      The sun rises over a beautiful bluebell wood in Meopham, Kent, yesterday morning as the sun shines over much of Britainthis week

      The sun rises over skyscrapers in the City of London financial district of the capital yesterday morning as Britain basks in pleasant May weather 

      This stunning sunrise was captured from Greenwich in South East London yesterday morning at about 5am

      A ship sails across the horizon on the North Sea as the sun rises at 5.20am yesterday near Cullercoats, off the North Tyneside coast 

      Then, it was warm and sunny in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland but cool and cloudy in the south and east.

      In its long-range forecast from the middle of next week towards mid-May, the Met Office said there is ‘some uncertainty’ but notes that ‘at this stage it looks like most places will stay mainly dry with sunny spells’.

      The return to warm and sunny weather follows very wet weather in southern and eastern England earlier this week.

      On Monday, three inches of rain fell in 24 hours in the wettest areas – 50 per cent more than the April average.

      Temperatures of just 42F (5.5C) in Frittenden, Kent and 46F (8C) in Norwich were recorded.

      One man died after apparently being washed off the pier in Ramsgate, Kent, by a giant wave.

      Trees crashed down on to roads in London and Kent while cars were photographed driving through two feet of water. 

      Trains were cancelled as engineers struggled to reopen lines hit by flooding and fallen trees.

      In Kent, firemen cut one man free from his car after he became trapped by a fallen tree and two parents and their baby were rescued after their vehicle was caught in a flood.

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