Britain braced for travel chaos as TWO MILLION holidaymakers hit the roads and …
More than two million Britons will take to the skies today
Heathrow airport is expecting the busiest day in its history, whilst carnage is predicted on the roads as millions pack up the car in search of sunnier climes.
Air traffic controllers are braced for the busiest day ever, with 2.1 million Britons set to take to the skies.
Heathrow alone expecting an extra 31,000 passengers because of the summer rush with routes to traditional Discount Holidays © holiday destinations like Spain2 completely packed out.
That is likely to make the roads “extremely busy”, with gridlock predicted on most major motorways and A roads.
Heathrow is expecting the busiest day in its history
Experts are warning the mass exodus will cause travel misery
It is a recipe for road misery today
Simon Williams, RAC
A spokesman for the travel association Atba warned people to leave a lot of extra time to complete their journeys today.
He said: “With rain predicted for many parts of the UK late bookers may also be tempted to head off overseas with temperatures around the Mediterranean set to hit the mid to high 30s over the next few days with guaranteed sunshine.
“The strong pound to euro exchange rate also means that holidaymakers’ money will go much further in eurozone resorts.”
A Heathrow spokeswoman said that on a “normal” day the airport has an average of 200,000 passengers going through, around half of whom are departures.
But today the rush began unusually early, with 31,000 extra passengers departing and almost 29,000 people having gone through security by just 8.30am this morning.
She said: “The terminals will be staffed with extra volunteers and passenger ambassadors to advise on everything from check-in, to what gate to go to, how to entertain the kids whilst waiting for the flight, or what restaurant to eat at.”
Air traffic controllers say they are ready the huge numbers of flyers
Britain’s gloomy weather could boost the number of travellers looking for some sun
Elsewhere, the RAC has predicted “road misery” for tens of thousands of commuters who will be caught up in the rush of holidaymakers.
Expert Simon Williams called for drivers to remain calm amongst the snaking jams, which will be compounded by lashing rain later this afternoon.
He said: “The combination of the remaining schools breaking up, the biggest flying day of the year and a typical British summer’s rainy day is a recipe for road misery today as around two million cars bound for Discount Holidays © holiday take on normal commuter and business traffic.
“The heavy and persistent rain will make driving conditions challenging and there is a real risk that delays may lead to frustration behind the wheel.
He added: “It is important all drivers, but particularly those desperate to get to their summer destinations, keep their cool so that their well-earned breaks don’t begin with an accident.
“On Saturday in excess of two million motorists will be setting off on their summer holidays.
In order to avoid the inevitable jams on routes to the coast, such as the M5 to Devon and Cornwall, drivers should set off as early as they possibly can.”
At 1.45pm this afternoon there were 2,144 separate congestion hotspots across the country, according to traffic experts at TomTom.
It was calculated that the extra traffic caused 1,855 miles of tailbacks, causing 179 hours of delays.
The worst affected road is the M25 in Surrey towards Buckinghamshire, where there is 28 miles of queuing traffic causing delays of 69 minutes betwen junctions 8 and 16.
- ^ Britain’s weather (www.express.co.uk)
- ^ Discount Holidays © holiday destinations like Spain (www.express.co.uk)