The country’s roads are expected to be busier over the Easter weekend than last year, while Network Rail will deliver around 20% more maintenance and improvement projects.
Highways England said it is lifting more than 450 miles of major roadworks over the weekend, to make journeys easier.
The AA said with Easter falling in March and despite chilly weather, its research indicates increased traffic, with today (Thursday) likely to be the busiest day.
According to the AA, the top five busiest stretches of road are likely to be:
- the A303 Westbound from M3/J8 through Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset
- the M1 from Junction 6A (M25 interchange) to Junction 13
- the M5 from Junction 15 (Almondsbury) towards Junction 31 (Exeter for West Country)
- the M6 through West Midlands (from Junction 4A) and northwards towards Lancashire (Junction 21A)
- all sections of the M25, especially both ways around J14/17 (Heathrow Airport and M4, M40 interchanges)
The M6 is likely to be busy, but probably not the M6 Toll
On the trains, it is estimated that Network Rail will spend around £55m on 450 individual projects over the weekend
Significant disruption is expected in the Midlands, while Arriva Trains Wales Wales will be subject to major engineering work in the Cardiff area from Saturday up to and including Easter Monday.
Engineering work between London Victoria and Clapham Junction will mean Victoria will be closed to Gatwick Express and Southern services. Rail replacement buses will run between the two stations and many services will begin and end at Clapham Junction.
There will be no Gatwick Express service at all although Southern and Thameslink services will run to the airport from London Bridge and Blackfriars respectively.
National Rail helpfully says that First TransPennine Express will run a ‘normal service except for engineering works’ across the weekend. Passengers on the ‘express’ service may take more than the usual hour to get from Manchester to Leeds.
Manchester Victoria and Salford Central stations closed at the end of service yesterday and will re-open for the first train on Tuesday 5 April.
But customers on the Caledonian Sleeper can rest easy with a normal service across the weekend.
Airports are also predicted to be busier than usual. It is Easter after all.