Travellers will have to contend with extensive rail engineering works this bank holiday weekend while motoring organisations are warning of jams on the roads.
But although the outlook is gloomy for those on the move, forecasters paint a brighter picture for the weekend’s weather.
Many areas are expected to get good amounts of sun during the weekend and temperatures may reach 23C (72F).
Those heading abroad are favouring areas such as Alicante and Malaga in Spain, Faro in Portugal and city destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Geneva.
Two of the rail engineering spots are in areas where work overran at the new year – on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) in the Midlands and at Liverpool Street station in London.
The WCML work at Nuneaton, Milton Keynes, Rugby and along the Trent Valley will mean there will be no Virgin Trains’ service to or from Euston station in London on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.
Services will only run as far south as either Coventry or Birmingham.
Liverpool Street main line station will be closed on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday for major bridge work and there will also be points renewal work going on at Clapham Junction station in south London.
Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher, whose company was fined a record £14 million for the new year engineering overruns, said ‘The work over the May bank holiday is all about improving the railway for passengers and freight users.
‘While the overwhelming majority of services remain unaffected, our message to passengers is to check before you travel.’
On the roads, the RAC is predicting congestion hotspots around out-of-town DIY stores, with 86% of homeowners planning to visit home improvement stores some time over the long weekend.
The RAC said the following areas could be affected:
- A23 Purley Way, Croydon, south London
- A406 North Circular at Brent Cross, north London
- A406 North Circular at Edmonton, north London
- A13/M25 interchange, Essex
- A635 Manchester Road, Ashton Under Lyne, Great Manchester.
It added that sunny weather was likely to lead to jams on routes to the west of England, from northern England to north Wales, to the Lake District, to Blackpool and from the Midlands to Norfolk.
The AA forecast that up to 18 million vehicles were expected on the roads over the bank holiday weekend, with all major routes likely to be ‘significantly busier than normal’ on Friday.
It added that the average journey length was 135 miles and that busy beaches would include Blackpool, Brighton and Bournemouth.
The AA also listed spots to avoid:
- M1 Bedfordshire J6A-J10 – narrow lanes and contraflow
- M1 Nottinghamshire J27-J28: narrow lanes and speed restriction
- M11 Essex J5-J6 and J8-J9: narrow lanes and speed restriction
- M25 Kent J3-J1B narrow lanesM27 Hampshire J11-J12: narrow lanes and speed restriction
- M4 South Wales J30-J32: – contraflow.
The AA said it expected to deal with up to 55,000 breakdowns over the weekend.
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