Warning for travellers as Easter getaway begins

The busy Easter getaway begins. Pic: JP
The busy Easter getaway begins. Pic: JP
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Rail services in Scotland will be disrupted this weekend as thousands take to the network for the Easter getaway.

Network Rail is carrying out more than 200 engineering projects and trains to Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Bath are among those affected.

It said it is carrying out the work over the four-day weekend as fewer passengers use the railways on bank holidays.

Travel trade organisation Abta reported that two million British holidaymakers will head overseas during Easter, with Good Friday the busiest day for travel.

Spain is the UK’s favourite foreign holiday destination for the weekend, with temperatures set to reach 27C (81F) in Malaga on the Costa del Sol.

Airports will be busy, with 425,000 passengers jetting off from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 153,000 from Stansted and 150,000 from Manchester.

Cross-Channel rail operator Eurostar is expecting its busiest ever Easter weekend with 163,000 passengers, up 12 per cent on last year.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Whilst many families may have already begun their Easter break, the Easter weekend is always a busy time of year for the travel industry with many holidaymakers taking advantage of the bank holidays to grab some much-needed sunshine or a trip to one of the world’s great cities.

“The roads will be busy, so we would recommend leaving a little extra time to get to your port of departure and if using public transport, to check in advance for engineering works.”

About 20 million car journeys will be made across the UK from yesterday until Monday. Worst affected roads during the getaway will be major motorways, with some journeys taking as much as three times longer than normal.

Tourism leaders said 6.6 million Britons are planning a trip involving an overnight stay over the weekend, up from six million last year.

But the weather threatens to spoil some trips with rain, gale-force winds and lower temperatures set to blight Scotland and much of northern England as the bank holiday unfolds, while sunny patches could appear further south.

In rural areas of Scotland, spring could be mistaken for its predecessor – with frosty conditions poised to take hold tomorrow night, according to the Met Office.

Temperatures will be a far cry from the summer-like heights across much of the country last week, instead hovering between 11C and 12C (52F and 54F) in northern England and Scotland.