Motorists have been caught up in “chaotic” traffic on stretches of the M5 motorway today (Saturday, July 4).
The reopening of the hospitality sector could be a factor in the apparent increase in congestion, which was particularly bad this morning as people tried to make the most of their weekends.
Caravans and motor homes have been seen at service stations to break up long journeys, with one HGV driver describing the scenes as “worse than a bank holiday”.
Campsites and caravan parks were among the raft of businesses that have been allowed to reopen today, and many people appear to have eagerly jumped at the change to return to their favourite UK destinations.
Gloucestershire Live reports that cars have been breaking down on the hard shoulder along the Gloucestershire stretch of the M5, with the southbound carriageway particularly busy.
With many cars left parked for the majority of lockdown, perhaps only making short trips for essential food shops, it seems that some are not quite ready to take to the road.
Gloucestershire Police said: “The motorways are busy primarily southbound through Gloucestershire.
“Lots of breakdowns on the hard shoulder.
“Is your vehicle fit for a long journey after lockdown?
“Now is a good time to check, tyres, oil, fluids.”
Meanwhile DevonLive reports that caravans and motor homes have descended on service stations in Cornwall and on the M5, as the hospitality industry opens up.
Donna Williams described it as “chaos” after getting stuck in a queue this morning.
Car parks including at Taunton Deane Service Station are said to be noticeably busy as tourists and travellers head to beauty spots to spend the weekend at.
Jay Leake, who spotted a convoy of caravans on the M5 heading southbound, raised concerns about the lack of places for lorry drivers to take breaks due to the influx of traffic.
He said: “Taunton Deane Services this morning on the M5 heading Southbound. All spaces taken up by caravans, this is HGV parking.
“Nowhere safe for us lorry drivers to take a break. Being on the road all night, it’s worse than a bank holiday weekend.”