Thursday, 2 April 2015

Gridlock coming to a road near you this weekend!

This Easter weekend Britain is facing gridlock as engineering works on the railways and the Bank Holiday getaway coincide. 

As many as 16 million motorists are set to take to the roads over Easter, with four million traveling on Good Friday and 4.5 million on Easter Sunday.

'The first spring bank holiday of the year traditionally heralds the start of busier weekends on the nation's roads,' said RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams.

He went on: 'This Easter is set to be a hectic one with 16 million of us getting behind the wheel for an Easter break, but at least we will benefit from the longer days and lighter evenings to complete our journeys.' 

The Highways Agency is also maintaining 55 sets of roadworks over the Bank Holiday weekend meaning Parts of the M1, M3, M4 and M6 likely to be hit by lane closures or speed restrictions. ( they are lifting 62 roadworks temporarily to ease the congestion).  

The increase in the number of people planning to travel by car is thought to have been in part triggered by a significant shutdown of the rail network including the West Coast main line, First Great Western and Greater Anglia - forcing passengers to make diversions on slower trains or spend hours on the dreaded replacement coaches. 

Network Rail said engineering works were planned over the Easter holidays because passenger numbers fell by 20 per cent. 

In a move that has been described by an expert as 'adding insult to injury', Virgin Trains and London Midland have cancelled advanced cheap fares forcing passengers to purchase more expensive off-peak tickets. 

Both Virgin and London Midland say they cannot offer advance fares as the tickets would not be valid with other operators and replacement services. 

The gloomy weather forecast this Bank Holiday weekend will increase the traffic on Britain's roads as travellers go abroad in search of sunshine.

Figures from Gatwick airport show that more than two million passengers are expected to fly off for foreign holidays over the Easter break - a four per cent rise on the same period last year.

Almost 50,000 more people than last year have bought air tickets for travel over the Easter weekend compared with last year. Barcelona, Dublin and Malaga are the most popular destinations. 

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