The AA has warned of potential chaos on the nation's roads during the upcoming four bank holidays over two weeks.

It estimates there will be 18 million cars on the road during the holiday weekend with the likelihood of misery for some motorists.

Fewer people than usual will going abroad because of the economic squeeze, with 85 percent of the 13,000 AA members surveyed saying that they would be staying in the country for the Easter break.

A third of people said they were planning to make a car trip over Easter, with those in Northern Ireland most likely to hit the road and the Scots wanting to stay at home.

An AA spokesman said: "We haven't seen anything like this since before the recession, but there is at least some good news for motorists. Many minor roadworks will be suspended for the holiday period, which should at least help avoid some traffic jams."

The Royal Wedding weekend is likely to be less busy, with around 10 million cars on the road.



The motoring organisation has also warned that households should make sure that maintenance on their vehicles is kept up to date, too.

AA patrolman of the year Paul Leather said: "Easter is often the first long-distance car journey since Christmas, so any underlying problems can soon become apparent. Although money is tight, it's simply not worth putting you and your family at potential risk by having a breakdown."

Motorists are also advised to check the most up-to-date traffic reports before going on a long journey to avoid the worst of the congestion.