Transport networks braced for holiday seasonFri, 25 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700
THOUSANDS of travellers are hitting the roads and public transport networks on one of the busiest getaway days of the year as the school summer holidays begin.
Temperatures are expected to remain high in the UK, but there is a chance of rain and eager holidaymakers are seizing their first chance to head abroad to even warmer climes.
Spain is the number one destination for those hitting continental hotspots, according to travel organisation Abta.
Bookings to Greece and Turkey have also been going well, while for those travelling further afield Dubai, Mexico and Florida are among the most popular destinations.
The recent hot weather has also boosted the numbers taking last-minute trips in the UK, while short-haul favourites include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome and Paris.
Travel organisations have warned drivers to expect delays at all tourist hotspots, including the Peak District, the Lake District, Devon and Cornwall and the south coast.
In south-east England, around 450,000 passengers will be departing from Heathrow this weekend, 295,000 from Gatwick, 140,000 from Stansted and 79,000 from Luton.
More than 100,000 will be leaving from Scottish airports, with 50,000 from Glasgow alone, while 162,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 70,000 from Birmingham, 45,000 from Bristol and 37,000 from East Midlands airport.
Other regional airports, ports and the channel tunnel will also be extremely busy over the weekend with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the country.
A total of 67,000 holidaymakers will be heading off to Paris and the south of France on Channel Tunnel high-speed Eurostar trains over the weekend.
By Press Association reporter