Manchester Airport chaos: Queues stretch outside terminal – as delays continue at Birmingham Airport
Motorists face a week of travel chaos, with Easter weekend expected to be the busiest in eight years.
The RAC warned of traffic congestion as a record 21.5 million drivers prepare to hit the road ahead of the four-day weekend, the most since the organization began tracking motorists’ Easter plans in 2014.
It also urged drivers to try and travel after 7:30pm to avoid congestion.
RAC research showed Good Friday will be the busiest, with 4.62 million trips scheduled, followed by Easter Monday, when just under 4 million drivers are expected to be on the road.
An additional 7.2 million will travel on Saturday and Sunday, and another 5.6 million have not yet been decided on which day they will depart.
Traffic information provider Inrix pointed out several potential congestion hotspots.
The congestion hotspots include: the M6 northbound 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) and The A303 at Stonehenge, Wiltshire.
Drivers wishing to avoid congestion as much as possible are advised to start their journey before 9am or to delay their journey until after 7:30pm.
More than 500 engineering works are taking place amid strikes on large parts of northern railway lines. It will cause chaos for the thousands of football fans who travel to London for the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.
It’s because severe disruptions on roads in Kent leading to services across the canal will continue for days.
The bottlenecks have been caused by the rising number of drivers seeking to reach the continent for Easter holidays and the suspension of P&O Ferries services.
In any case, P&O Ferries’ ships won’t sail from Dover to Calais until Thursday at least, as rival carriers struggle to meet the additional demand.
Motorists heading to Europe have reported being stuck in traffic for six hours on Kent’s roads, and a 32-mile stretch of the M20 has been closed to hold more than 4,000 lorries.
To make matters worse, getaways will be the most expensive ever due to skyrocketing fuel prices.
The latest government figures show that the average price of a liter of petrol at UK service stations on 4 April was 161.9 pence, while diesel was 176.0 pence.
There could also be diesel or petrol shortages as a result of protesting eco-fighters blocking fuel terminals, delaying deliveries.
RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘After two years of relatively quiet Easter break on the roads, our research suggests a return to traffic levels much more typical for this time of year.
“It’s very possible that this weekend could be one of the busiest for leisure travel in years.
“Add to that the impact of the disruption on the rail network and one of the biggest games of the sports calendar taking place this weekend, and you have all the ingredients needed for road problems.
“The traffic volumes will probably be even greater if a warm spring sun appears.”
Mr Dennis urged drivers to ensure vehicles are prepared for trips. Pictured: Traffic begins to build up on April 8. Drivers have been warned of long delays this Easter weekend
Mr Dennis urged drivers to ensure vehicles are prepared for trips.
“This is even more important for anyone traveling longer distances than for a few months,” he said.
“A breakdown is much less likely if a car’s oil and coolant levels, as well as tire pressure and tread depth, are all checked before you go.”