Brits warned of bank holiday travel chaos as 16m drivers to hit road on Friday amid rail strikes

Britain is set for a early May bank holiday[1] travel chaos as over sixteen million cars will be on the roads this 'Frantic Friday' in response to rail strikes. After a period of cold, wet weather[2], sunny spells with highs of 20?C[3] are expected which will make traffic worse, with millions escaping to the coast for a day trip, The Sun[4] reports. On Friday it's expected there will be a mix of holidaymakers and office workers rushing to get moving, with 16 million drivers thought to be on the roads that day, according to data trends.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: "It's looking like a Frantic Friday, with getaway, school and commuter traffic building into the evening. Major trunk routes will be congested, with Saturday also busy.

Get prepped for festivals season with these tried and tested powerbanks[5]A deserted Brighton Central Railway StationA deserted Brighton Central Railway Station (Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

"And after such miserable cold temperatures recently, drivers are ready to make the most of any better weather. Expect many more people on roads on days temperatures rise."

On Friday the AA said there would be especially bad traffic in hotspots such as the M25 at J11 in Surrey, the M1 at J11 closeby to Luton, the M5 at J18 near Bristol, the M6 from J4a to J8 in Birmingham, and the M60 at J9 and J10 closeby to Trafford centre. According to the RAC, Bank Holiday Monday's train drivers overtime ban will mean hundreds of services are cancelled, forcing people to use their cars instead. Mr Dennis said: "People are concerned about rail strikes, so some of those rail journeys planned for Monday will end up on the road instead." At the same time, 487 rail engineering schemes costing GBP75 million will experience major disruption.

The west coast mainline is the busiest route in Britain but on Sunday no trains will run from London or Glasgow, and services will be reduced on Saturday and Monday. Other works will hit journeys near Liverpool, Crewe, Wigan, Coventry, Cambridge and Southampton. Network Rail's Anit Chandarana said: "We're investing in making the railway more reliable." In addition, 10,000 trains and two million passengers' journeys are due to be cancelled by ASLEF train drivers' strikes at sixteen operators on May 7, 8 and 9, according to analysis of rail industry figures.

An overtime ban will see services cut last minute from Bank Holiday Monday on May 6 until May 11. Network Rail said: "Some operators will not run any services on strike days, and the overtime ban may lead to short-notice cancellations." Passengers at Heathrow airport might face passport control delays in the run-up to the holiday weekend because 300 Border Force staff strike from Monday to Thursday, with longer queue times expected.

Those travelling by ferry can expect sixty minute queues at Dover with 15,000 cars due to sail to France over the extended weekend.

Ryanair was due to cancel hundreds of flights because of French Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes, with the budget airline's CEO Michael O'Leary commenting in a statement that the EU Commissions needs to protect routes flying over France while walkouts take place.


  1. ^ bank holiday (
  2. ^ weather (
  3. ^ sunny spells with highs of 20?C (
  4. ^ The Sun (
  5. ^ Get prepped for festivals season with these tried and tested powerbanks (