Queen's Platinum Jubilee: AA and RAC traffic monitoring suggests 19 million drivers will take to the UK's roads
More than 19 million drivers are expected to take to the roads during the Platinum Jubilee with the AA warning motorists to expect busy routes and delays near to shops and supermarkets as people prepare for an unprecedented four-day weekend.
Half of the UK's 36 million drivers, estimates the breakdown service, will get behind the wheel of their vehicle between Thursday and Sunday to make the most of the big event and the extra bank holiday days off.
But with the majority expected to stay relatively close to home to enjoy street parties or meet with nearby friends and relatives, those already keeping a close eye on Jubilee traffic levels say they expect that away from small local roads some routes will be noticeably busy.
While the weather - says the AA - which is so far forecast to be a mixture of sunshine and showers for the end of the week, could dictate whether those currently without Jubilee plans also take to the roads and motorways at the last minute.
AA president Edmund King said while drivers should be alert to the potential for road closures he expected most local routes being shut for Jubilee street parties to not cause too much congestion. However he warned that the changing weather and people stocking up on supplies for the bank holiday could cause some delays in town centres or shopping areas.
He explained: "Contrary to what some party-poopers have predicted, the street parties will not cause congestion as they are confined to local residential roads and many residents will be taking part.
"The weather is likely to dictate a lot of the traffic levels with mixed weather predicted.
"But the AA warns drivers to be prepared for some delays around supermarkets and other shopping centres where people will be stocking up ahead of the four-day break."
Families getting away earlier this week - at the start of the half term holiday - did face considerable disruption with resilience forum's warning that travelling conditions would be difficult as people's breaks were sandwiched into a week made up of both half term and the Jubilee.
The RAC, which says it expects to see 19.5 million trips by car in the next few days, estimates that Thursday and Friday are likely to be the busiest days of the long weekend for traffic - with half term holidaymakers returning from a break that began at the start of the week, meeting those now getting away for the long weekend.
Spokesman Rod Dennis explained: "Although many appear keen to keep their car journeys short, perhaps mixing a day trip or two with a Jubilee celebration at home.
"The fact the bank holidays coincide with the end of half-term in many places has the potential to put some extra pressure on the road network, so planning a journey carefully is important to beat the worst of any queues."