Easter travel – live: Warnings for bank holiday drivers as London Euston to close amid train delay chaos

Motorists have been warned of huge traffic delays as millions people are set to hit the road this bank holiday weekend

(AFP/Getty)

Drivers and rail passengers have been warned of huge delays this bank holiday weekend amid mass train cancellations and busy roads.

London Euston will be almost entirely closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday due to engineering works between London and Milton Keynes.

Rail passengers were urged to “travel either side of the Easter weekend” as the busy station will be closing for all but Overground services.

It comes as the RAC warned journeys on the road could take up to twice as long as usual this weekend as 14 million people are expected to set off.

“With Easter falling earlier than usual at the start of the school holidays, it could be carmageddon for holidaymakers,” an RAC breakdown spokesperson said.

Journeys on the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 in Hertfordshire are expected to take more than two hours, while the M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton is also likely to be congested.

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14 million to hit the road this Easter bank holiday weekend

Drivers have been warned of huge traffic delays as millions of people are set to hit the road this bank holiday weekend.

The RAC warned journeys on the road could take up to twice as long as usual as 14 million people are expected to set off.

“With Easter falling earlier than usual at the start of the school holidays, it could be carmageddon for holidaymakers,” an RAC breakdown spokesperson said.

Journeys on the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 in Hertfordshire are expected to take more than two hours, while the M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton is also likely to be congested.

(Getty Images)

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 09:25

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Two million holidaymakers are set to jet off over the Easter weekend, with one airport bracing for “record-breaking” passenger numbers.

Turkey, Dubai and the Canary Islands are among the most popular destinations amid wet and windy weather forecast for the UK, although trips to Dublin are also in demand.

Travel trade organisation Abta said airports are reporting “strong numbers”, with 175,000 due to leave from Stansted, 105,000 from Luton, 160,000 from Manchester, 79,000 from Birmingham, and 89,000 from Edinburgh between Friday and Monday.

Bristol, which predicts 30,000 holiday trips on Easter Sunday alone, warned people flying with chocolate: “If travelling with Easter eggs, passengers are advised to keep any chocolate treats in your cabin baggage and to make sure they’re easily accessible as they may need to be opened for a quick check.”

(AFP via Getty Images)

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 15:00

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What are the busiest routes this weekend?

The RAC has warned that 14 million drivers could be facing long delays as they set off on their Easter getaways this bank holiday weekend.

The busiest routes are expected to be:

The M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 in Hertfordshire

M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton

M3 between the M25 and the south coast

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 14:19

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Full list of Avanti West Coast disruptions

Here is a helpful list of all the affected Avanti West Coast services and stations impacted by engineering works this bank holiday weekend.

No trains will be running from London Euston as the busy station will be closed for all but Overground services.

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 13:30

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Rail passengers warned not to travel as London Euston shuts over bank holiday weekend

Rail passengers have been warned to “travel either side of the Easter weekend” as London Euston is set to shut for the entire weekend.

Major improvements to track mean the busy station will be closing for all but Overground services from Good Friday to Easter Monday.

Network Rail has advised travellers to avoid the West Coast main line during the bank holiday, adding that engineering works between London and Milton Keynes. will also impact southern routes to and from London.

Replacement bus services will be in effect on various routes, and passengers have been urged to check their journeys in advance as they might face longer travel times.

(Lucy North/PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 12:45

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Further train cancellations and delays

Extreme flooding is wreaking havoc in the South West today as several lines are forced to close on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Great Western Railway said all lines are closed between Westbury and Swindon until at least 2pm.

“Due to flooding across the railway network this morning, we need to reutilise the Melksham line for other purposes,” it said.

“As a result trains between Westbury and Swindon via Melksham are suspended until further notice.”

There have also been delays and cancellations between Swindon and Bristol Parkway, Westbury and Weymouth, Reading and Taunton and Sindon and Chippenham.

(PA Archive)

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 12:18

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Severe delays on the M1

There are reports of severe delays on the M1 northbound between junctions J25 and J27.

According to AA, motorists are facing delays of 44 minutes with an average speed of five mph.

It is expected to clear later this morning.

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 11:21

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Chaos on Great Western Railway

On one of the busiest days of the year for rail travel, flooding is causing chaos on the Great Western Railway between London Paddington, southwest England, Bristol and South Wales.

The line between Reading and Taunton is partially blocked with disruption expected until the rest of the day. GWR said: “We are sorry for the delay to your journey today. Flooding on the railway between Reading and Taunton has resulted in some signal failures along this route. Network Rail are working to rectify the faults. This means that our high speed services between Reading and Taunton have to run at reduced speeds through the affected areas. The line towards Taunton is now blocked due to further flooding.

“Our high speed services from London Paddington towards Devon and Cornwall will be diverted between Reading and Taunton which will add delay to your journey.”

Unfortunately the main diversion route is also experiencing problems. High-speed trains heading west from Swindon in Wiltshire to Bristol and Cardiff are having to reduce their speed from 125mph to just 5mph as a result of flooding on the line.

“Trains may be delayed by up to 30 minutes, cancelled or diverted as a result,” says National Rail.

Simon Calder28 March 2024 10:39

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Easter travel chaos: how bad will it be?

In a normal year there would be a gap between most schools breaking up and the long weekend. But with Easter falling so early the two are combined.

My colleague Simon Calder has explained the Easter travel situation and how bad it might be:

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 10:09

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Windy weather in Cornwall as millions head off on getaways

Around 14 million Britons are due to hit the road today as many head off on their Easter getaways.

Many will be heading for staycations in popular UK holiday spots such as Devon and Cornwall. However, pictures from Cornwall this morning show some windy and gloomy conditions.

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for wind today in some parts of the south of England and showers are expected throughout the weekend.

(Matt Keeble/PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou28 March 2024 10:07

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