New images show there was no mass Easter getaway as most people follow advice

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

New images have been released showing there has been no mass Easter getaway this year.

Location technology firm TomTom created the visuals for London, Manchester and Birmingham which highlight the dramatic fall in traffic levels on Thursday compared with the equivalent day in 2019.

This suggests most people are following the Government’s coronavirus lockdown instruction not to visit tourist hotspots this weekend.

Traffic levels in London at 5pm on Maundy Thursday 2019. The red lines indicate heavy traffic. (TomTom/PA)

The images for the Thursday before last year’s Easter weekend feature a lot of red lines, representing the highest traffic volumes.

In contrast, the 2020 versions mostly include grey lines, which indicate light traffic.

TomTom’s data shows that traffic on Maundy Thursday 2019 reached a peak at 5pm.

Traffic levels in London at 5pm on Thursday. The grey lines indicate low traffic. (TomTom/PA)

At that time, the proportion of additional time required for journeys compared with free-flow conditions was 60% in Birmingham, 66% in London and 69% in Manchester.

But at 5pm on Thursday this year, the figures were just 14% in Birmingham, 15% in Manchester and 16% in London.

A similar picture was seen in other cities across the UK.

The Easter weekend is normally one of the busiest of the year on the roads, as millions of leisure journeys lead to gridlock on routes to and from popular tourist destinations.

But the Government’s coronavirus lockdown means non-essential travel is banned.