So when should you take your Easter vacation? Best time to travel this weekend to avoid traffic hell
After a winter of discontent marred by mass strikes, passenger delays and cancellations, travel experts have shared their top tips for a smooth Easter holiday.
Motorists are being warned to expect heavy queues on the roads – with up to 17 million leisure car journeys expected to be made over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
UK airports are also predicted to be busier than ever, with industrial action at Heathrow increasing pressure on airlines.
Justin Penny, flight manager at the Flight Center, said: “With the Easter holidays approaching and around 6,260 scheduled departures during the 10-day strike at Heathrow Airport, there is of course some nervousness about long delays and terrible queues.
“The long weekend getaway is expected to be busier than ever, particularly on Thursday. Mornings are also the busiest time at airports, meaning early mornings (before 9am) give you the best chance of a smooth experience.
UK airports are also predicted to be busier than ever as industrial action at Heathrow increases pressure on airlines (Image: stock image)
Motorists are being warned to expect heavy queues on the roads – with up to 17 million leisure car journeys expected to be made over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend
“I would suggest not getting to the airport too early – the airport council says you should arrive three hours in advance for international flights and two hours in advance for domestic flights, which is sufficient.
“We hear about queues because travelers panic and arrive early, causing congestion well before their departure.”
WHICH ROADS TO AVOID THIS EASTER HOLIDAY
Here’s Select’s quick look at some of the areas – and times – to avoid as the Easter holidays begin:
M1 (Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, Derbyshire)
Three lanes will be closed northbound between J14 and J15 (Milton Keynes, Northampton).
10pm to 6am, April 3rd to 5th.
Three lanes closed Southbound AND Northbound J15A-J15 (Northampton, Rothersthorpe)
9pm to 6am, April 3rd to 5th.
On April 16-17, four lanes will be closed on the same stretch of highway from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Four lanes closed Southbound J31-29 (Sheffield to Chesterfield)
8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., 2.-3. April.
Three westbound lanes closed between J2 and J3 (Gatwick, Woking).
8pm to 6am, April 3rd to 6th.
Three westbound lanes closed between J12 and J13 (Reading, Newbury).
9pm to 6am, March 31st to April 1st.
M5 (North Somerset, Gloucestershire)
Three lanes closed southbound between J19 and J20 (Portishead, Clevedon).
9pm to 6am, April 2nd to 6th.
Two lanes (of three) closed north and south, J11-J13 (Gloucester, Stroud)
8pm to 6am April 3rd to 6th, April 11th to 4th.
M6 (multiple locations)
All southbound and northbound lanes closed at J17/J18 (Northwich, Congleton, Cheshire).
March 31 10pm to April 1 5am.
Three lanes closed northbound J10-J11 (Walsall, Cannock)
9 p.m. to 6 a.m. 1.-2. April.
Three lanes closed Northbound J39-J40 (Shap, Penrith)
8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., 2.-3. April.
M18 (South York’s)
Three lane closed J1 (Rotherham) southbound
9 p.m. to 5 a.m., 3.-4. April.
Three lanes closed J9-J10 eastbound (Ashford)
8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., 3.-4. April.
M23 (West Sussex)
Three lanes closed J11 southbound (Crawley)
8pm to 6am, April 2nd to 6th, April 11th to 13th, April 14th to 15th.
Four lanes closed for emergency barrier repairs J14-J15 clockwise (London Heathrow)
10am-6pm, April 1-3.
Four lane closure from J2 south to J1A (Beaconsfield, Heathrow)
10pm to 6am April 3rd to 6th.
Three lanes closed J14-J12 eastbound (Chester, Runcorn)
9pm to 5am, April 3rd to 6th.
M62 (West Yorkshire)
Four lanes closed eastbound J28-J29 (Leeds)
8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., 2.-3. April.
Flight Centre’s youth travel brand, StudentUniverse – the world’s largest marketplace for student and youth travel – encourages passengers on a budget to choose ‘flexible’ options when booking flights.
StudentUniverse’s Sam Willan said: “It’s important to be flexible wherever you can – the more flexible you are with your dates, the more likely you can save on booking.
“If you’re looking for flights, make sure you tick the ‘flexible’ box and select the largest parameters possible. Also, consider booking two one-way flights instead of a return – a little extra legwork while searching can sometimes save you quite a bit of money!’
According to Expedia Air Travel Hack 2023 reports, travelers who book domestic flights on Sundays instead of Fridays save on average around 20% on domestic flights and 10% on international flights.
For motorists looking to avoid congestion hell, places like the M1 near Sheffield, the M3 in Surrey and a major emergency barrier repair site on the M25 near London Heathrow have been identified as routes to avoid.
Graham Conway, Managing Director of Select Car Leasing, says: “When you know you have a long journey ahead of you, it’s tempting to let the daytime traffic slow down and instead drive later in the evening.
“However, motorists must be aware that this strategy puts them at risk of getting caught up in the dreaded night-time road works planned by the National Highways, which typically begin around 9 p.m. and last into the early morning.
“There are roadworks over Easter that have the potential to close all lanes of major motorways, often requiring a nightmarish – and totally unexpected – detour.
“Be wary of the risk, especially if traveling with young children and pets, and check Traffic England’s list of planned roadworks well before you set off.”
Main roads in south-west England and some in the Home Counties are also likely to experience the worst congestion on Good Friday, according to the RAC and traffic analysis firm Inrix.
More than double normal traffic levels are forecast for the westbound A303 near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the southbound M5 between Bristol and Bridgewater and the counterclockwise M25 between Hertfordshire and Surrey.
Queues are likely to be increased by technical work on the railways, including the closure of London’s Euston station.
A survey of 2,400 UK drivers commissioned by the RAC found that 2.7 million car journeys were planned for Good Friday and Easter Sunday by drivers taking day trips or overnight stays.
Saturday and Easter Monday are expected to be slightly less busy, with 2.3 million separate short trips each day.
Many people may be waiting to see what the weather has in store given the potential for a further seven million rides to take place across the long weekend.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “With many people looking to make the most of the double bank holiday this Easter weekend, we expect the usual congestion in parts of the road network to make this a bad Friday for drivers, particularly those planning to to travel longer distances.
“Traffic levels could be even higher if the sun makes a welcome appearance.
“The South and West are areas to keep an eye on as they are home to some important roads responsible for transporting large numbers of people to West Country holiday destinations.
“Our advice to anyone heading in this direction is to set off as early as possible on Good Friday or travel on a completely different day.”
Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at Inrix, said: “We expect a large increase in holiday driving, with most congestion occurring on main roads in urban areas and popular tourist destinations.
“Nationally, we expect travel times during the bank holiday weekend to increase by about 25% compared to normal.
“Knowing when and where traffic jams form can help drivers avoid the stress of being stuck in traffic.”
Mr Dennis urged motorists to give their vehicles “a little bit of TLC before they go,” e.g. B. Make sure tires are properly inflated and check oil, coolant and washer fluid levels.
National Highways will be closed Thursday at 6 a.m. through Tuesday, April 11.
This means that more than 98% of the road network will be free of road works.
Network Rail is carrying out more than 600 engineering projects on British railways over the Easter weekend.
Between Good Friday and Easter Monday there are no trains to or from London Euston as the West Coast Main Line is closed to Milton Keynes Central.
This will disrupt Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway services and Caledonian Sleeper trains will use London King’s Cross.
Track and signaling upgrade work on some lines to London Victoria means Southern and Gatwick Express services will not call at the station over the bank holiday weekend.
Some trains will be diverted to London Bridge.
Network Rail said it often schedules major engineering work for holidays to minimize disruption to passengers, as fewer people travel during those times.
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-11936807/So-make-Easter-getaway-Best-times-travel-weekend-avoid-traffic-hell.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 So when should you take your Easter vacation? Best time to travel this weekend to avoid traffic hell