Easter weekend: People are advised to plan ahead before traveling – here’s everything you need to know | UK News

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People have been urged to plan ahead before traveling this weekend amid concerns of Easter getaway chaos affecting traffic, flights, trains and ferries.

The Department for Transport said it was working to minimize disruption, but told those expecting to travel to allow extra time for their journeys.

Holidaymakers have already faced flight cancellations, queues for cross-Channel ferry services and long queues of traffic over the past two weeks.

Here’s everything you need to know before heading out this weekend.

Roads

Some 27.6 million car journeys are expected to take place over the bank holiday weekend, according to the AA.

Motorists have been advised to travel on Thursdays if possible, but Saturday is the next best bet to avoid long queues.

Picture:
Queuing traffic on the M25 near Egham, Surrey

The busiest day on UK roads is expected to be Good Friday.

Kent is expected to be one of the hardest hit areas as Operation Brock continues to be in place along a section of the M20 and problems at the Port of Dover due to a shortage of cross-Channel crossings remain a problem.

The operation, originally created to ease post-Brexit queuing, involves using a movable barrier to create a countercurrent system allowing trucks to queue and other vehicles to continue moving in both sense.

Other likely congestion hotspots

  • The M6 ​​north between Junction 26 (Orrell Interchange, Greater Manchester) and Junction 36 (The Lake District)
  • The M25 clockwise from Junction 8 (Reigate Hill Interchange, Surrey) to Junction 16 (Denham Interchange, Buckinghamshire
  • The A303 near Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Drivers wishing to avoid traffic jams as much as possible are asked to leave before 9:00 a.m. or delay their trip until after 7:30 p.m.

AA also estimated that with higher fuel prices, a 500 mile round trip will see drivers pay £20 more at the pump than last Easter.

Transport Minister Robert Courts said his department was ‘working closely with operators to minimize disruption’ during the break, but advised people to ‘plan ahead and check for updates on operators”.

Ports

Ferry crossings continue to be a problem this weekend, with P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais crossings still suspended after that. dismissed nearly 800 sailors without notice on March 17.

This means there will be a shortage of capacity along the key route.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said there were “additional deficiencies” found during a return visit Pride of Kent on Wednesday, while the ship Spirit of Britain was grounded on Tuesday after an inspection revealed “a number of shortcomings”.

Freight trucks line up at the Port of Dover as P&O Ferries crossings remain suspended, after the ferry company laid off 800 workers without notice.  Picture date: Tuesday April 12, 2022.
Picture:
Delays are expected at the Port of Dover

A company spokesperson said: ‘We apologize unreservedly to any customers whose scheduled trips with us between Dover and Calais have been canceled while we are unable to sail.

He added that alternative arrangements can be made for customers, including transferring them to the Hull-Europoort service in Rotterdam or rebooking them on services with Brittany Ferries between Portsmouth and Caen.

He said there would be no additional cost to customers, with mileage costs being reimbursed and a 25% reduction on the original charge.

DFDS said it had no availability for P&O customers over the Easter bank holiday.

“Please do not proceed to port without a confirmed reservation, contact P&O Ferries for alternative travel arrangements,” he urged travellers.

planes

In recent days, flight cancellations and long queues at UK airports have been blamed on difficulties recruiting new staff, the time it takes for their security checks to be processed and rising levels of illness related to COVID.

Aeronautical data firm Cirium said 9,212 flights with 1.6 million seats are expected to take off from UK airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday – 78% of the total for Easter 2019.

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‘Perfect storm’ hits UK airports and airlines

The busiest day will be Good Friday, with some 2,430 flights departing.

On Thursday, dozens of British Airways and EasyJet flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled.

Passengers and airports in Birmingham and Manchester have shared photos on social media of lines stretching away from check-in counters, and travel agency Tui apologizing for the long delays.

People are advised to check their departure times, leave with enough time at the airport and check for regular updates.

The trains

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

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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.

Passengers were already facing long queues for services from London St Pancras to Europe on Thursday morning.

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