Easter weekend travel warning as millions to travel by road, rail and air

Brits hitting the road for Easter[1] have been urged to plan ahead as an estimated 14 million journeys[2] will be made this Bank Holiday. Thousands of journeys could be hit by disruption as people plan to travel by road, rail, air or sea this weekend. Thursday afternoon is set to be the busiest time as many get going early to make the most of the four-day weekend.

But drivers especially could face long delays due to weather[3], roadworks and the sheer amount of people on the roads. Roadside assistance service RAC has already issued a warning to motorists to be prepared. "With Easter falling earlier than usual at the start of the school holidays, it could be carmageddon for holidaymakers," an RAC breakdown spokesperson said.

An RAC survey carried out alongside travel update service Inrix estimates 14million separate journeys are to be made over the weekend, while Visit England reports that 11million overnight stays are to be made. The RAC also warned about the potential impact of the weather. Spokesman Rod Dennis said: "With plenty of classic early spring weather over the Easter bank holiday weekend, drivers getting away will definitely need to be on their guard and ready to cope with rapidly changing road conditions.

Slowing down in the heaviest of downpours on Good Friday and Easter Saturday is a must as stopping distances will be far greater." Airports will also be extremely busy, while some rail routes could face disruption.

Give your garden a spring refresh with 25% off plants, herbs, fire pits and more[4]Brits hitting the road for Easter have been urged to plan aheadBrits hitting the road for Easter have been urged to plan ahead (AFP via Getty Images)


Some journeys such as those hitting the M25 between the junctions for the M23 (Gatwick) and for the M1 at Hertfordshire could take twice the usual time. The London Orbital will also be extra busy between junctions in Surrey and for the M40, while also jam-packed will be the A303 in Wiltshire near Stonehenge and the M3 north to Basingstoke. The M5 southbound between Bristol[5] and Taunton, Somerset, has been outlined as a route set to be extremely busy in the coming days.

Other routes earmarked for heavy footfall are the M6 north heading towards the Lake District, and south towards Stoke.


Brits planning to make any train journeys[6] this Easter have been urged by Network Rail to check details before they travel, as some major routes are set to close due to engineering works. Works are planned for lines between London and Milton Keynes, meaning part of the West Coast Main Line will close.There will also be no replacement buses for this journey, and Avanti West Coast has revised train times for this network. One of the UK's busiest stations, London Euston, will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday (with the exception of TfL Overground trains), adding extra pressure onto other services.

Meanwhile, flooding at Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire forced one track to close on Thursday, causing chaos for Great Western Railway services. Train passengers should check the National Rail site in advance to plan their journeys. Has Storm Nelson affected your Easter travel plans?

Vote in our poll HERE[7] to have your say.


Manchester[8] Airport said earlier this week it was gearing up to see 320,000 passengers walk through over the Easter weekend - 8% more than last year's celebration, while Glasgow Airport also was placing extra staff on duty to deal with the influx of people. EasyJet also said it was predicting this Easter to be its busiest on record. Parts of Europe are also being hit by Storm Nelson which could hamper some people's travel plans.

Strong gusts have been reported in France and Portugal on Thursday, which, if continued, could result in some flight delays.


Some 20,000 vehicles are expected to pass through the port at Dover between Thursday and Easter Sunday. Storm Nelson resulted in various cancellations and delays to ferries[9] on Thursday. Border controls at the port are carrying out more stringent checks[10] at the moment following last Friday's attack on the concert hall in Moscow which left nearly 140 dead.

As a result, some people catching ferries could face longer waits and are being advised to leave extra time.

The wait at peak times could be up to two and a half hours, so leave plenty of time to check in.

Eurotunnel told the BBC[11] it was putting on extra shuttles and staff to cope with expected high numbers.


  1. ^ Easter (%20mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ 14 million journeys (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ weather (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Give your garden a spring refresh with 25% off plants, herbs, fire pits and more (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Bristol (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ train journeys (www.mirror.co.uk)
  7. ^ HERE (xd.wayin.com)
  8. ^ Manchester (www.mirror.co.uk)
  9. ^ various cancellations and delays to ferries (www.mirror.co.uk)
  10. ^ carrying out more stringent checks (www.mirror.co.uk)
  11. ^ BBC (www.mirror.co.uk)