The AA has advised drivers to plan ahead and avoid travelling at the middle of the day as families across the country prepare to reunite this weekend.

The drivers’ organisation has advised that roads are likely to be busy this weekend as people across the country make journeys to see loved ones and visit favourite restaurants following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions on Monday.

Edmund King, AA president, told the Gazette: “A surge in enquiries for AA-rated hospitality over the past fortnight indicates that the UK’s previously locked-down residents can’t wait to hit the holiday roads and regain that feeling of freedom.

“But don’t be tempted to take risks you wouldn’t have before lockdown; remember, if you’re going to drink don’t drive and if you’re going to drive, don’t drink.”

The AA said it was likely that due to the weather, more people than usual would be planning to visit indoor venues, or gather at the homes of family and friends.

A recent AA poll of 796 drivers revealed that eight in 10 nationwide were planning leisure journeys around the time of this latest unlocking. Visiting a pub, restaurant or cafe to eat or drink indoors was the top reason for travel, with more than a quarter (29 per cent) of drivers planning a journey for this purpose.

A similar number (25 per cent) were anticipating reunions of small, mixed-household groups indoors. And more than one in 10 (12 per cent) were planning a journey to stay overnight with people outside their household, with the same number planning a staycation road trip.

They recommended checking travel conditions before setting off. At the moment, the AA says that a lane closure for construction work on the A30 may add to journey times between 11am and 3pm, while there are some weekend closures near Slough on the M4 which could have a knock-on effect, though they are not anticipating this will occur.

Ben Sheridan, AA Patrol of the Year, says: “Before you hit the road for that long-awaited reunion with faraway family and friends, or a meal out at your favourite local pub or restaurant, take a moment to carry out some essential car checks for the trip. This includes checking the tyres, topping up the oil and coolant levels where necessary and making sure you have enough fuel for the journey.”