Travel chaos is on the rise for many families looking for a summer getaway this week as most schools in England and Wales take their summer break.
Drivers are being warned of severe road congestion, with the RAC forecasting that nearly 13 million people commencing day trips or public holidays between Friday and Monday will cause “traffic congestion” congestion”.
Those traveling by rail, sea or air could also face disruptions instead, with bosses at the Port of Dover warning holidaymakers could expect a two-hour delay. half past this weekend.
Waiting times at the ferry terminal have improved dramatically since some bus passengers were delayed by 18 hours on Easter, thanks in part to French border officials ramping up post-Brexit passport checks. – with a new processing counter expected to be completed by Friday.
However, port chief executive Doug Bannister warned that processing times can stretch to two and a half hours during peak hours between 6am and 1pm during the first few Saturdays and Sundays of the period. summer vacation, “due to overcrowding. popular today”.
Those traveling from London Gatwick Airport have also been warned of “severe delays, disruptions and cancellations” as nearly 1,000 Unite members – including check-in, baggage handlers and dispatchers Planes work for ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS and DHL Services Ltd – walking out over the next two weekends.
A Gatwick spokesperson said that while the airport does not employ staff directly, it will work with the ground department to ensure “as many flights operate on schedule as possible”.
Industrial action is also set to hit rail travelers, with massive strikes by the RMT union next Thursday, Saturday and weekend set to trigger thousands of cancellations.
This could be compounded by the ban on overtime by Aslef train drivers, which began on Monday and will last until Saturday. This “short-term strike action” will be repeated six days from July 31, the union announced on Monday.
Friday, the day most schools begin their summer break, is seen as the worst day for motorists as vacationers compete for places on the road with commuters, the RAC said.
Traffic analysis firm Inrix predicts traffic hotspots will include the M5 in the south near Bristol, a popular route for tourists to the South West of England.
Another stretch of motorway likely to be congested is the clockwise M25 between Junction 10 for the A3 to Kingston and Junction 6 for the A22 to East Grinstead, the company said.
Drivers who wish to avoid long lines are advised not to ride on major roads from early morning to early evening from Thursday to Sunday.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “There is no doubt the UK remains a popular holiday destination with millions of drivers expected to hit the roads this weekend as schools Schools in England and Wales are closed for the summer.”
“With Country West leading the list when it comes to the most popular part of the country to visit, that means routes heading south and west are likely to encounter some queues. longest. Anyone using the M5 heading south from Bristol should anticipate the back-to-back traffic, with those traveling outside of peak times more likely to have a better journey.
“We are seeing a dramatic increase in breakdowns this year as drivers who depend on their vehicles for leisure and work face sky-high prices, leading to As a result, some people save on car maintenance costs.
“For this reason, we urge drivers to take action to avoid an increase in incidents during the summer.
“No motorist should set off before a long journey without performing some basic checks to make sure their car has the right oil and coolant levels, and that all tires the car has enough tread and is properly inflated.”