Millions face Easter travel chaos as record numbers of drivers hit Britain’s roads Business News

Millions of Britons are facing an Easter weekend of travel chaos with record numbers of cars on the road, major rail disruptions and long queues at ferry ports and airports.

The RAC says drivers are collectively planning more than 21 million leisure car journeys this weekend despite soaring fuel prices.

This is the highest number since the organization began tracking motorists’ plans in 2014. The busiest day is expected to be Good Friday, followed by Easter Monday.

Gasoline and diesel supplies at service stations in some parts of the country are running at about half their usual level.

Petrol stock levels in garages across the east of England averaged 19% as of April 10, with the south east of England recording 21% and London 22%, down from the pre-pandemic average of 40%.

The scale of the Easter road jaunt is likely to be increased due to closures of key parts of the West Coast Main railway line – one of Network Rail’s 530 Easter engineering projects costing a total of £83 million.

Most Manchester City and Liverpool fans are expected to travel to Wembley to watch the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

Passengers queue to check in for the Eurostar international train service at London St Pancras on April 14


According to traffic data service Inrix, the busiest places are likely to be on the northbound M6 between Warrington and the Lake District; the M6 ​​southbound towards Stoke-on-Trent; the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M40 junction for Oxford, passing through the M3 and M4 junctions; and the A303 near Stonehenge.

Kent’s road network is also disrupted due to the closure of a key 20-mile section of the M20 for use by lorries seeking to reach France by tunnel or ferry.

P&O Ferries, which suspended operations on the Dover-Calais route four weeks ago, will not resume sailings after two of its vessels were detained for further safety inspections by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency .

Aeronautical data company Cirium said 9,212 flights with 1.6 million seats are expected to take off from UK airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday. The number of flights represents 78% of the total for Easter 2019, before the coronavirus crisis affected travel.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Although we expect the highest number of Easter car trips on Friday – around 4.6 million – it is clear that some drivers want to get away early. before the public holiday.

“As well as the closure of the coastal M20 for Operation Brock Zero, previous collisions are causing problems on the South East M25 and connecting roads, and the A303 in Wiltshire.

“From an outage perspective, we are seeing strong demand for our service in the North of England, particularly around the Lake District, as well as coastal areas of West Wales.”

National Highways said there were 90-minute delays near the Dartford Tunnel in Kent on Thursday. There were also 30 minute delays due to the closure of the M18 in South Yorkshire.

Elsewhere, footage on social media showed large numbers of people waiting at Tui check-in counters at Manchester Airport, with other customers recounting a 90-minute wait for baggage.

A Tui spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that, unfortunately, due to staff shortages at Manchester Airport today, some customers are experiencing longer than usual waiting times at Manchester Airport. ‘registration.

“Rest assured that our teams are working as fast as they can.”

One passenger, Lukasz Ceglecki, from Burton upon Trent, said that although there were long queues they were moving “relatively” quickly.

Another, Adam Francis, said on Twitter: “Completely chaotic scenes in Terminal 2 at Man Airport when a cleaner is the only person to provide information on why we have no bags after 90 minutes.

“Even then, she doesn’t know when we’ll get them.”

Manchester Airport said passengers are urged to arrive three hours before their flight and double-check their hand luggage.

Meanwhile, those at Birmingham Airport said they waited in hour-long queues for security despite paying £4 per person for fast-track services.

Joe Clifford, who was traveling to Malaga in Spain, told the PA news agency it took him around an hour to get through security due to “very long queues”.

Dozens of British Airways and EasyJet flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick have been cancelled.

Rail passengers have also been warned of the delays as Network Rail completes 530 engineering projects at a total cost of £83m.

This includes the closure of the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes for four days from Good Friday due to upgrades to the existing line and HS2 works.

Parts of the railway between Birmingham International station and Coventry will also be closed, as will lines around Crewe station.

Those at London St Pancras said there were long queues for services to Europe on Thursday morning.

A passenger bound for France said he waited more than an hour because of the staff…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-14 18:06:13

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