Roads in south-west England were “very, very busy” as lockdown restrictions eased on Saturday, with holidaymakers flocking to the region.
Traffic cameras and pictures posted on social media showed busy service station car parks, congested motorway carriageways and caravans making their way towards the coast.
Travellers were urged to avoid peak times, while police asked caravan owners to check their vehicles before setting off to prevent hold-ups.
M5 coming into Cornwall blocked for miles at Exeter. pic.twitter.com/75rvHEBNnA
— Nobby* (@stilesjrn) July 4, 2020
As well as roads in the South West, a broken-down vehicle at junction 25 of the M25 caused traffic to build as Londoners tried to make their way out of the capital.
Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police’s roads policing teams tweeted: “The roads are wet and very, very busy heading in to Devon and Cornwall.
“We’re out in force trying to keep things moving but please keep a safe distance, use your headlights and ensure you check your caravan before your journey as many have been laid up for a long time.”
Highways England tweeted an image from a traffic camera showing junction 30 and 31 of the M5.
Armageddon in its way. Second wave, hello. The A303 right now. All heading to South West. Miles and miles and miles of wall to wall caravans, cars with top boxes and.. well you get the picture. The #Dorset coast is going to be hell on Earth this weekend. 🤬#COVIDIOTS #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/Jin8x7tq7u
— Nina Parker (@nina_jewellery) July 4, 2020
“We are experiencing heavy congestion in this area. Journey times may be extended. Please consider travelling outside of peak times,” it said.
One Twitter user, Jay Leake, posted an image of Taunton Deane Services on the M5 southbound, showing lines of cars with caravans attached, at 5.30am.
“Nowhere for HGVs to park and take a break as these lot have taken over the place,” he tweeted.
“The volume of traffic including caravans overnight has been worse than a bank holiday.”
Taunton Deane Services M5 (Southbound) at 0530 this morning! Nowhere for HGVs to park and take a break as these lot have taken over the place. The volume of traffic including caravans overnight has been worse than a bank holiday 🚗🚐
— Jay Leake (@jasonleake) July 4, 2020
Another Twitter user said they had counted more than 20 caravans heading to Cornwall on the A30 between 1.15 to 1.30pm.
The A38 between Woodpecker and Marley Head in Devon was closed in both directions on Saturday due to a crash, causing heavy congestion.
Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene, where a car collided with the central reservation.
“Police closed both sides of the carriageway to allow for the Air Ambulance to land whilst fire crews assisted in making the scene safe,” the fire service said.
“Fire crews have now left the scene in the hands of police and were able to confirm before they left that the casualty was not seriously injured.”
The A390 near Probus in Cornwall was partially blocked in both directions due to an accident involving two cars, Devon and Cornwall police said.