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Warning over Bank Holiday traffic chaos

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700

MORE THAN two million Britons will head overseas for the bank holiday weekend, with those staying at home having to contend with busy roads and disrupted rail journeys.

While some are taking to the air to travel to Mediterranean hotspots, anyone getting the car out in the UK will have to compete for road space with an estimated nine million other vehicles.

Around 500,000 passengers are expected to depart from Heathrow airport over the weekend, as well as 234,000 from Gatwick, 172,000 from Manchester, more than 150,000 from Scotland's airports and 134,000 from Stansted.

An expected 78,000 will leave from Luton, 72,000 from Birmingham, 47,000 from Bristol, 42,000 from East Midlands, 30,000 from Leeds Bradford and 7,000 from Bournemouth.

In addition, hundreds of thousands will also be leaving the country from other regional airports, ports and the Channel Tunnel.

The RAC said it expected Saturday and Sunday to be the busiest days on the roads, especially as there are major music festivals at Leeds and Reading in Berkshire.

VisitEngland said 5.1 million Britons were planning an overnight holiday trip in the UK this weekend, with four million planning on taking an overnight trip in England. This was likely to generate some £1.2 billion in tourism spending for the UK economy, £940 million of which will be spent in England.

The Highways Agency said around 164 miles of roadworks on England's motorways and major A-roads would be completed before the weekend and 110 miles of works will be suspended between Friday and Tuesday (August 26).

But for safety reasons a number of roadworks will have to stay in place, including some on the M1, M5 and M25.

National Express said it had seen a surge in coach bookings for the bank holiday, with bank holiday Monday expected to be its busiest day.

It added that London was the most popular destination for coach travellers this weekend, followed by Birmingham and then Heathrow airport.


By Peter Woodman, Press Association