BRITS have been warned of traffic chaos across the country as 20million journeys are made during the Queen’s Jubilee weekend.
Between Wednesday and Saturday, anyone hitting the road for a late spring getaway is likely to face misery on motorways and A-roads.
Those heading away on the Friday will likely see the worst of it, the RAC predicts.
Day-trippers wishing to avoid the biggest queues are urged to leave either before 6am or after 3pm, traffic information supplier Inrix says.
Traffic hotspots include the M25 anticlockwise from Junction 17 at Maple Cross Interchange, Hertfordshire to Junction 12 at Thorpe Interchange, Surrey.
The A303 running past Stonehenge, Wiltshire – a popular route for holidaymakers travelling towards the South West – will also be badly affected.
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RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Drivers clearly see a double bank holiday this close to the summer as a gift with millions eager to make the most of it.
“However, many appear keen to keep their car journeys short, perhaps mixing a daytrip or two with a Jubilee celebration at home.
“The fact the bank holidays coincide with the end of half-term in many places has the potential to put some extra pressure on the road network, so planning a journey carefully is important to beat the worst of any queues.”
He urged drivers to carry out essential checks on their vehicles before setting off, such as making sure oil, coolant and screen wash levels are correct, and tyres are properly inflated and free from damage.
“A bit of TLC now could make the difference between a straightforward trip and one beset by a breakdown,” he added.
UK airports will also be busy with more than 10,000 flights departing between Thursday and Sunday, according to aviation data firm Cirium.
That’s a three-fold increase on the same period last year, when the UK’s coronavirus travel restrictions remained in place.
Thousands of families have seen their half-term holidays disrupted as easyJet cancelled more than 200 flights to or from Gatwick over a 10-day period.
Fuming travellers have been forced to sleep on airport floors amid the chaos. Nicola Caine, of Cheshire, said her family were treated like “animals” by Easyjet after two flights to Tenerife were cancelled.
Tui has also axed a number of flights.
Network Rail normally carries out widespread engineering work during bank holidays, but nearly all major lines will remain open during the Jubilee celebrations.
Chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We are really pleased to say that all routes into London’s major stations will be open across the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
“We know that demand will be high as people travel into the capital to celebrate this special occasion and our station staff will be on hand to welcome passengers and help them with their journeys.
“Of course, we are still carrying out hundreds of important projects to upgrade the railway, but the majority of these will have no impact on passenger or freight services.
“As ever I’d like to thank the countless railway staff who will be out delivering upgrades or who will be working hard to keep services running for passengers.”
However, there are threats of a rail strike on the Tube as millions of commuters return to offices after the break.
Hardline union RMT says workers will walk out on Monday, June 6 – and this morning, their leader Mick Lynch told Sky’s Sophy Ridge Brits may face a summer of discontent at the hands of strikers.
Asked by Ms Ridge whether strikes could go on for “days or weeks”, he replied: “We’ll decide that as we go.
“We want strike action to be effective.”
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And he vowed to continue even if it disrupts Britain’s power supply.
“I can’t determine outcomes or side effects,” he warned.