June 13, 2024

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Travel advice issued over Easter weekend amid fears of flight, train and ferry chaos

Travel advice issued over Easter weekend amid fears of flight, train and ferry chaos

Travellers have been advised to plan ahead and avoid the busiest times if possible amid concerns of Easter getaway chaos.

The Department for Transport said it is working with operators to minimise disruption, but advising people to allow extra time for their journeys.

Holidaymakers have already faced flight cancellations this week and queues for ferry services look set to continue as a number of P&O vessels remain detained due to safety issues.

Travellers have been urged to avoid trains this Easter weekend as Network rail carried out engineering works.

The closure of the West Coast Main Line connecting Scotland with London with the north of England is particularly significant.

“We strongly advise passengers travelling between London Euston and Scotland on these dates to travel either side of both long weekends (15 – 18 April and 30 April – 2 May). This will help to avoid longer journeys on busier trains,” the Network Rail said.

This is likely to cause disruption to those travelling to see relatives over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Travellers wait to check in at Edinburgh Airport on April 4

Meanwhile, some 27.6 million car journeys are expected to take place over the Bank Holiday weekend, according to the AA.

Motorists are advised to travel on Thursday or early on Saturday if they can, to give themselves the best chance of avoiding long queues.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “All our polling suggests that Good Friday will be the busiest getaway day for Easter trips and staycations. If some drivers can leave on Thursday or early Saturday, they may miss some of the jams.”

The motoring organisation also estimated that, with higher fuel prices, a 500-mile round trip will see drivers paying £20 more at the pumps than they did last Easter.

Transport minister Robert Courts said his department is “working closely with operators to minimise disruption” during the break, but advised people to “plan ahead and check for updates from operators”.

Flight cancellations and long queues at UK airports in recent days have been blamed on difficulties recruiting new staff and the time it takes for their security checks to be processed, as well as increased levels of coronavirus-related sickness.

Aviation data firm Cirium said 9,212 flights with 1.6 million seats are scheduled to depart from UK airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The number of flights is 78{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} of the total for Easter 2019, before the coronavirus crisis affected travel.

The busiest day will be Good Friday when some 2,430 flights are due to depart.

Rail passengers have also been warned of delays as Network Rail carries out 530 engineering projects costing a total of £83 million.

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 of the existing line and HS2 work.

Meanwhile, the Met Office has said the weather looks like it will be “playing ball” for the long weekend, with a high of 23C possible in the south of England on Good Friday.

Forecaster Craig Snell said: “As Bank Holidays go it is looking fairly fine and dry across the UK, so I think people will certainly be able to get out and enjoy the countryside or whatever it is they’re doing over the Easter weekend.

“The weather will be playing ball. All in all, it looks like travel conditions are going to be fairly ok, weather-wise.”

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