British Motorists Plan May Day Excursions Amid Travel Fears – May Day Statistics from Direct Car Excess

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Brits planning to have fun in the UK sun over the coming May Day bank holiday are doing so amid anxieties about traffic jams and the carelessness of other drivers.

Car Hire Excess Insurance

Direct Car Excess

Direct Car Excess Insurance brings you a compilation of May Day statistics to alert motorists for the busy May Day bank holiday.

A recent Inrix poll suggests the typical UK motorist spends 29 hours a year in traffic jams, and bank holidays are often particularly problematic. Add to this the start of the British summer holiday season and the fact that the last bank holiday was the coldest Easter since records began; another glimpse of the recent sunshine could create a perfect storm of travel chaos.

The May Day or Early May bank holiday, celebrated on the first Monday after May 1, was introduced in the UK in 1978 by Employment Secretary Michael Foot to honour the country’s workers. Other May Day traditions date back to pagan Britain and include fertility rites like Morris dancing, dancing around Maypoles, and crowning a May Queen.

A report by Quadrangle found a general increase from 2011 to 2012 in fears about other road users, and three out of five drivers say there are not enough police on the roads. Insurance prices went up by 14.4% in 2011, forcing many motorists to switch providers or renegotiate their premium. Fifteen percent reduced their cover with 24% dropping extras like legal insurance. More than 10% have illegally named a false registered driver to reduce their premium, and some even cancelled their cover.

Buses replace trains

Rail travellers will be familiar with another British bank-holiday tradition – planned engineering works. Rail operators maintain tracks regularly at night, but are forced to carry out essential large scale works involving route closures during public holidays in order to minimise disruption to commuters. Unfortunately, many of these closures will also impact people trying to move around the UK to make the most of the long weekend.

For example, Londoners thinking of popping down to Brighton on Sunday for a taste of the city’s internationally respected arts festival and some seaside fun will find part of the busy commuter route closed. London, far and away the most popular UK destination with all ten of the UK’s top free attractions, will be heavily affected, particularly on routes into Kings Cross. Metropolitan systems like those in London and Manchester have similar plans.

All national routes are likely to be subject to disruption beyond the usual confusion caused by special timetables, which, it’s fair to note, also sometimes feature extra trains for tourists as well as cuts to commuter services. The exceptions are Eurostar services, Gatwick and Heathrow Express routes, Heathrow Connect, and Island Line trains to the Isle of Wight.

Britons hit the roads

The feared bank holiday traffic gridlock failed to materialise at Easter as 2m Brits chose to escape abroad, but for many people this will be a shorter break and, with the weather uncertain, plans more last-minute. Day trips are more popular than ever according to recent figures from Visit Britain.

TyreSafe recently advised UK motorists to check their tyre pressure before setting off on any long journeys, and to add air to compensate for more than usual passengers and luggage. Failing to maintain a tread-depth of 1.6mm is dangerous and incurs severe legal penalties.

Notes for Editors

Direct Car Excess offers both Single Trip and Annual Multi-Trip excess insurance with a choice of policies to destinations worldwide covering the excess on car hire claims up to a maximum of £4,000

Please note: There are some countries and certain types of vehicle which are not covered, these are listed in the policy document and frequently asked questions which can be viewed at Insured drivers must be UK residents aged 21 to 85. See the policy document for full terms. These policies do not cover electrical or mechanical breakdown.

Direct Car Excess insurance policies are underwritten by AIG Europe Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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Vincenzo Zuccarello
AIG Direct
0800 980 4313
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