Drivers warned Easter journeys could take three times longer

Darcy Sharp, aged two, gives her ice cream big licks in the spring sunshine in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders yesterday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Darcy Sharp, aged two, gives her ice cream big licks in the spring sunshine in Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders yesterday. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Drivers have been warned to expect “significant delays” over Easter with more than 20 million cars expected on the roads between Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday.

Traffic is set to peak at 28 per cent above typical levels at 5pm on Thursday as motorists embark on the bank 
holiday getaway, according 
to transport information 
supplier Inrix.

It said the worst affected roads will be major motorways, with some journeys taking as much as three times longer than normal.

Inrix said the worst times to travel will be: Thursday between 4pm and 6pm; Friday
between 10am and 2pm; and Monday between 12pm and 5pm.

Easter Sunday is expected to be the quietest day on the roads with 25 per cent 
fewer vehicles than an average 
Sunday.

A number of rail services will be disrupted as Network Rail carries out more than 200 engineering projects.

Trains to Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Bath are among those affected.

Network Rail said it is doing the work over the four-day weekend as fewer passengers use the railways on bank 
holidays.

Airports are also expecting a rush of holidaymakers
jetting off overseas. Some 868,000 people are due to travel through Heathrow Airport alone between Good Friday and Easter Monday, including an extra 200,000 families compared with a typical 
Friday to Monday period.

Inrix head of research 
Graham Cookson said: “With UK drivers spending an average of 30 hours in congestion last year, motorists are no stranger to sitting in traffic.

“We expect significant delays over the Easter period due to a combination of factors, including the regular post-work peak, the start of the school break, people travelling on holiday, railway engineering works and Tube 
closures. Our advice to drivers is to consider alternative routes or avoid peak times.”

The warning to motorists came as the UK enjoyed the hottest day of the year so far. Sunseekers flocked to the beaches and parks as the temperature topped 25C (77F) in Cambridge, and rose to at least 20C (68F) in many parts of England and Wales.

However, as much of England and Wales enjoyed warm weather all weekend, conditions cooled yesterday in Scotland, with highs of 16C (61F). And temperatures in some parts of the UK are expected to drop by as much as 10C today as the weather returns to 
normal for this time of year.

Met Office forecaster Emma Boorman said it was too 
early to give an accurate forecast for Easter but the 
weather is not expected to reach the sunny highs of 
yesterday and Saturday.