Britons hit the roads for Easter getaway

Thu Apr 9, 2009 1:13pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The Easter holiday weekend is set to be the busiest so far in 2009 for domestic tourism as cash-strapped Britons take breaks closer to home.

Despite typically mixed weather predictions of scattered showers by the Met Office, AA Roadwatch predicted that nearly a third of motorists would take to the roads to get away over the Easter weekend, amounting to nearly 10 million cars.

"This shows an increase of 13 per cent on last year for motorists planning to drive either for a weekend or a day trip, so congestion could potentially be worse than usual," said AA patrolman Andy Taylor.

The Highways Agency has completed or suspended almost two thirds of its roadwork schemes on motorways and major A roads in time for Maundy Thursday in an effort to ease congestion over the busy holiday period.

A further 10 million Britons are expected to travel by train between today and Easter Monday, a figure representing an increase of around 5,000 from Easter 2008, according to the Association of Train Operating Companies.

(Reporting by Anna Macswan, editing by Paul Casciato)