RESIDENTS of Edinburgh will be staging mass exodus this weekend, as more people than ever before head out of the city for Christmas.
Edinburgh Airport is expecting an eight per cent rise in passengers flying out this weekend, with around 104,000 people expected set to pass through the terminal.
Airport bosses insisted they were ready for the increase and fully prepared for any bad weather over the festive period.
The rise in winter travellers has been put down to people skipping their summer holiday in favour of soaking up Olympic fever, while others are choosing to escape the stress of Christmas with the family.
Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “Christmas is always a busy time of year for airports. Being Scotland’s largest brings its own challenges and we’re focused on making sure the passengers travelling with us this weekend have a great experience.”
And there was good news for travellers yesterday when it was announced that the planned strike by Scotrail due to take place on December 22 and Christmas Eve had been cancelled.
Scotrail said it was “delighted” that the industrial action, sparked by the sacking of a ticket examiner, had been called off following talks with the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union. A spokesman said: “We are delighted that common sense has prevailed and the threat of industrial action has been lifted. It is the right decision.
“Our customers can look forward to normal services over Christmas and to travel to be with family and friends.”
An RMT spokesman said: “RMT can confirm that industrial action on ScotRail has been called off as a satisfactory agreement has now been reached between the union and the company.”
However, those on the move over Christmas have been advised to take precautions, with “unsettled” weather predicted. Although it is too early for a detailed forecast, the Met Office has warned of wet and windy weather next week, and those travelling by road were warned to plan ahead and check weather reports before heading out.
An AA spokesman said: “Lots of people will be eager to see their family and friends, but anxious, rushing drivers are more likely to have accidents.
“We would also advise checking tyres and looking under the bonnet to make sure all your liquids, especially your coolant, are topped up. Many drivers only use their cars for relatively short distances most of the time, and when they set off on a long journey to visit family or friends this is when problems often come up.”