BANK Holiday Brits face travel chaos as 15 million drivers are set to hit the road in the busiest getaway in five years.
Rail delays are set to cause headaches for anyone hoping to zip off for a break – with London Euston shut all weekend cutting off the North.
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Londoners hoping to get to the coast may struggle by rail, with Victoria station not running Southern services.
Trains bringing people into the capital from Essex will be hit by disruption between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street.
And daytrippers from Luton heading to London may also find their plans scuppered, with trains to London St Pancras International in disarray.
The RAC has predicted 14.8m trips will be made to visit friends and family, now that rules on travel have been relaxed and garden lunches are allowed.
Households can also now stay at Airbnbs and other self-catered spots for staycations, and cross-border travel between England, Wales and Scotland has opened up.
Families can also meet up in beer gardens and restaurant terraces to really make the most of the three-day weekend.
It comes as:
- SNOW and thunderstorms today before ‘heavy’ rain and gales on Bank Holiday
- The areas of UK with ZERO daily Covid cases revealed as rates hit ‘lowest level’ despite lockdown easing
- Matt Hancock, 42, gets his Covid vaccine from Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and says ‘didn’t hurt at all’
- Summer holidays hope as Europe ‘set to reach herd immunity by August’
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “After what was one of the quietest Easters on the roads in years our figures suggest the easing of Covid restrictions has made a dramatic difference with millions more drivers planning to hit the roads.
“It remains to be seen what effect the weather will have as meeting up in soggy parks and gardens may not prove quite so appealing.
“Nonetheless, the prospect of queues on the roads – particularly leading to major shopping centres – looks far more likely this coming weekend, and we’d advise drivers to plan ahead and keep tuned to local traffic bulletins to find out if there’s any disruption.”
A survey of 1,050 motorists found 14.8 million trips will take place between Friday and Monday – this is the the highest number since 2016.
HIT THE ROAD
Saturday is expected to be the busiest day, with Friday a close second.
Apart from small roadworks, the main motorways look clear of huge closures.
However the sudden onslaught of traffic is likely to cause large queues and delays.
People are set to pack up the car for a trip to the beach, or head to the pub with pals.
Covid fears are set to impact people's plans still, with about a fifth of drivers asked about their weekend saying they wouldn't travel due to the virus.
But it is an improvement in confidence from Easter travel caution, when a quarter didn't want to hit the road.
An AA spokeswoman said: “A forecast for cloudy and drizzly weather could mean more people head to indoor shopping centres for some overdue retail therapy, rather than coastal or countryside beauty spots.
"Many people will use the bank holiday weekend for some DIY, so main roads into towns and cities, or out of town retail centres, are likely to attract more of the traffic.
"But with pubs and restaurants still unable to open indoors in England, it's not expected to be as busy as we are likely to see later in the summer.
"If you are heading out on the road this weekend, it's a good idea to carry out some essential car maintenance and check conditions for your route before you go."
Train delays and cancellations over the Bank Holiday weekend:
- London Euston closed from Friday until Monday
- Buses replacing trains between Crewe and Chester from Friday to Sunday
- Buses replacing trains between Hastings and Ore/Ashford International from Saturday to Monday
- No Southern trains running from London Victoria from Saturday to Monday
- Amended service between London Liverpool Street and Chelmsford from Saturday to Monday
- Amended services between Luton and London St Pancras International from Saturday to Monday
- Amended services between Edinburgh and Inverness from Saturday to Monday
- For more disruption notices, head here.
The weather looks like it won't play ball for the three-day weekend.
A cold snap is on the way with northerly winds sweeping in from the Arctic and temperatures set to plummet.
Sunny spells are expected but scattered showers all across the UK with chilly nights.
Tips for dealing with traffic jams:
- Travel time: Most traffic queues are caused by too many cars on the same roads at the same time. If you can travel outside the peak times, you can easily miss them.
- Be prepared: Make sure you conduct all necessary service checks on your motor before you set off. Many summer breakdowns are avoidable – punctures for instance can be caused by a tyre that is in poor condition or just not inflated properly. And ageing batteries can struggle in lots of stop-start traffic.
- Keep it fresh: Hungry, thirsty or tired passengers are recipes for in-car irritability – and ‘carguments’. So when setting out, pack enough food and water to keep your passengers happy, and add in enough breaks along the way
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