Could this weekend be the biggest staycation bank holiday yet with 98% of Brits staying in the UK

  • 98% of Brits intend to stay in the UK this bank holiday
  • 77% who venture out won’t travel for more than two hours
  • 33% leave their plans to the last minute

New research released by Network Rail today suggests that 98 percent of Brits are planning to stay in the UK this August bank holiday, and well over two thirds (77 percent) do not want to venture too far from home.

Professor Isabellie Szmigin from Birmingham University’s business school, an expert in consumer behaviour, said: “Staycations are ever more popular and the August bank holiday sits as the top of the pile. Many people will have already taken their big summer holiday and just want a few days close to home, especially those with children getting ready for the autumn term.  

“When you only have a few days, and it is the last bank holiday before Christmas, travelling abroad can be high risk and very tiring so opting for an easy, stress free solution is very appealing.”

But with a third of people (33 percent) still undecided as to whether to stay at home or venture out for a day trip or for the weekend, there are still plenty of travel plans to be made, with almost 80 percent of those who are keen to head out only willing to travel for up to two hours.

Britain’s rail network is open for business over the bank holiday weekend with some great destinations well within a two-hour reach. But with a £133m investment programme in full swing – aimed at building a bigger, better railway – potential passengers need to plan ahead and check before they travel as some lines, particularly those in and out of the capital, will see services heavily impacted. This record amount of rail investment work will lead to new services, thousands of extra seats to help relieve over-crowding, and new, faster trains running on a more reliable network.

Commenting, Francis Paonessa, Managing Director for all infrastructure projects at Network Rail said: “With so many people undecided on how they’ll spend their bank holiday weekend, a train-trip to somewhere new could be an appealing option.

“But do make sure you plan ahead as while our massive investment programme impacts comparatively small parts of the network, on some routes its impact is significant, particularly major routes into London.

“We’ll have more than 17,000 railway workers hard at work over the weekend building major upgrades that will transform journeys for millions in the months and years ahead.”

The weather will also play a significant part, as will traffic. Almost 60 percent of the 2,000 people surveyed cited traffic delays as the thing that put them off the most from travelling over the bank holiday – even more reason to explore the extent of Britain’s rail network. 

Professor Isabellie Szmigin continued: “Of course weather is always an important factor for the impulse traveller with many more people holding off on making plans until the last minute.”

Dr Paonessa concluded: “After the bank holiday, passengers will be one step closer to experiencing the major benefits in the months ahead, with more to come in 2018 and 2019, as new fleets of trains, running on new and upgraded infrastructure, are introduced.”

Additional findings from the research:

  • More than half of people surveyed said they would rather relax at home over the bank holiday weekend (52 percent), while only one in ten said they will be visiting friends and family (11 percent)
  • Other reasons cited for people staying home this bank holiday weekend included it being too busy (43 percent), and it being too pricey to go away for the weekend (26 percent)

– Ends –


Notes to editors:

Passengers are advised to check before they travel this bank holiday weekend at or by following the hashtag #AugustBHworks 

For more information please contact Lisa Russell in the Network Rail press office on 033 085 43836 /

About the research:

Research was carried out by Atomik Research on a consumer sample of 2001 across the UK population in accordance with MRS guidelines and regulations.

Fieldwork: 28-31 July 2017

Sample: 2001 Nat-Rep Gen Pop UK

Methodology: Online Survey

Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employees MRS certified researchers and abide to MRS code.

Please contact the press office for a breakdown of the data by region.

A summary of Network Rail’s major investment work over the August bank holiday weekend:

Major Airports:

All major airports will see normal services throughout the bank holiday weekend

In and around London:

  • Euston Station will be closed on 26th & 27th August for HS2 enabling work
  • Around half of Waterloo station will be closed from 5th to 28th August as part of the £800m project to increase the number of services able to use the station
  • The Thameslink project continues with service alterations at London Bridge, Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Cannon Street from 26th August to 2nd September
  • Crossrail work continues between Liverpool Street and Shenfield disrupting travel on the Great Eastern main line to Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich / Norwich between 27th  – 28th August


  • Great Western modernisation work will be taking place between Bristol Parkway and Swindon and trains will be diverted via Bath
  • There will be electrification work carried out in the Bolton area and buses will be in place along the route