Petrol Prices Up; Bank Holiday Trips Down

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RAC offers bank holiday travel advice

As with any bank holiday, the roads will be busier than normal and people need to make sure they allow extra time for their journey. Planning your route in advance can help take some of the stress out of the journey.

Following recent air travel disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption, coupled with the ever-increasing price of fuel and an unsettled weather forecast, breakdown cover specialist RAC predicts that many people are more likely to stay at home for the bank holiday and just go out for day trips rather than going away for the whole weekend.

In a recent RAC poll of nearly 7,000 members, almost four in ten members (37%) called for a cut in fuel duty to help motorists*. The average cost of unleaded petrol is 26% higher than a year ago whilst diesel is 19% more expensive**.

However, for those who are planning on getting away, traffic volumes will begin to increase from Friday lunchtime and last until later than usual in the evening. With more cars on the road holidaymakers are advised their journeys are likely to take longer. Monday will see volumes increase during the afternoon and early evening and Tuesday morning will be busy as people return to work.

Alan Wilcock, RAC Patrol Ambassador of the Year, said: "As with any bank holiday, the roads will be busier than normal and people need to make sure they allow extra time for their journey. Planning your route in advance can help take some of the stress out of the journey."

If the weather is good, theme parks and beaches will be popular destinations but many will simply take the opportunity to go shopping so long queues can be expected around the large retail parks. Local events may also cause congestion.

To help keep the UK moving on the roads, RAC recommends the following tips for motorists to make the most of their bank holiday weekend:

1. Plan your route in advance of your journey and have an alternative at the ready in case of delays. Check local radio stations or RAC Route planner at http://www.rac.co.uk
2. Allow extra time for your journey, especially if you are heading for a popular resort or you are travelling at peak times
3. Make sure you have enough fuel for your journey. Be aware that the stop/start actions of sitting in traffic jams use more fuel.
4. Checking oil and water levels and the pressure and condition of the tyres before setting off could help to prevent a breakdown.
5. For live up-to-the minute traffic and travel information motorists can call 64644 from a mobile or 09003 444999 from a landline***
6. RAC also has an app available to download for free**** which shows the start and end point of traffic congestion.

RAC Press office contacts:
Vicki Burn on 01603 684224 / 07800 692909
Lucy Haughey on 01603 688891 / 07800 690149
Erik Nelson on 01603 682264 / 07989 427086

Notes to editors:

*RAC surveyed 6988 members between 30 March and 12 April 2010

**Fuel prices sourced from http://www.petrolprices.com

***Calls from a mobile are charged at 60p per minute at all times, charges will appear on your network provider phone bill, alternatively you may call 09003 444999 from a landline, also charged at 60p per minute. All call charges are inclusive of vat at 17.5%.

Using a mobile phone incorrectly whilst driving can be dangerous and may endanger the safety of other road users. It could also be illegal. You should not hold a phone when driving, and should exercise due care and attention, even when using hands free equipment.

RAC recommends that you use 64644 to plan your journey before you depart, and park safely before using the 64644 service, or use a suitable hands free device.

****Motorists can download the free app at the iTunes App Store and Android Market. The app shows start and end points of congestion, overlayed onto Google Maps. The app pinpoints the user's exact location, meaning an immediate view of regional traffic is easily at hand. Text and audio summaries of traffic conditions are also available

About RAC
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, car insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last four years and the top-named service organisation in the July 2009 and January 2010 UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

RAC Insurance has also been awarded the Best Overall Vehicle Insurance Provider 2009/10 by themoneypages.com

Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Aviva UK Insurance. Aviva is the UK's largest insurer with a market share of around 15 per cent.

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries.
RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at http://www.racnews.co.uk.

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Vicki Burn
RAC
01603 684224
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