Bank holiday boost needed for leisure and tourism in the East after losses of pandemic

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson in the Norfolk seaside resort of Hunstanton

The tourism industry in the East of England says it needs to do bumper business over the last bank holiday weekend of the summer after months of Covid losses.Hospitality and leisure firms say they need to boost takings now to tide them over into the autumn.With travel aboard currently restricted many holidaymakers have chosen to take domestic trips closer to home and visitors have been flocking into the East of England.

The bank holiday weekend will see events like Truckfest in Peterborough, the Red Rooster music festival near Thetford in Norfolk and the boyband McFly playing the Newmarket Nights at the Suffolk racecourse.

Drivers are being warned to avoid busy times as the RAC estimated that 16.7 million leisure trips on UK roads are planned between Friday and Monday.

It added that hopes of good late summer weather could see even more people jumping in their car for a day trip or last-minute break.

  • Watch a report from Truckfest in Peterborough by ITV News Anglia's Stuart Leithes

Transport analytics firm Inrix said there could be a 25% increase in delays on Friday compared with a typical August day as millions of people embark on a bank holiday getaway.

AA president Edmund King said: "Weather is always a big decider on where people spend their bank holiday. However, AA research suggests that local traffic may be heavier this time.

"Covid's disruption to people's lives is still noticeable in the 10% fewer long-distance trippers this August.

"The drop in longer trips might be due to the difficulty in booking accommodation away from home due to more families taking their holidays in the UK."

National Highways, recently rebranded from Highways England, said around 98% ofEngland's motorways and major A roads will be free of roadworks over theweekend.

  • Watch a report from the Red Rooster Festival on the Norfolk-Suffolk border by ITV News Anglia's Raveena Ghattaura