BRITS are facing a weekend of travel chaos as drivers are told to “stay at home” with millions more cars on the roads due to shutdown train lines.
Tomorrow has been dubbed “manic Maundy Thursday” as 15million cars and 3,110 roadworks clog up Britain’s major arteries.
And traffic jams are expected to peak on Good Friday, with motorists warned to avoid travelling on major routes from during the day.
Brits are looking forward to a balmy 24C Easter as the temperatures warm up this week – but travel is likely to be an even more heated issue.
A mammoth 400 engineering projects are being carried out on the UK’s rail network, leading to some rail journeys taking SEVEN times longer than normal.
£100million-worth of Network Rail projects this weekend sees Britain’s busiest rail route, the west coast mainline, shut in three places – London Euston, Preston and near Glasgow.
London to Milton Keynes, usually 30min from Euston, will take between 2hr 55min and 3hr 36 min on Easter Saturday and Sunday via replacement buses and London Underground.
London to Glasgow, usually 4hr 30min, will take 7hr via the west coast, or 5hr 30min via the east coast, braced for overcrowding.
This will lead to clogged roads particularly on Good Friday, when mobility analytics provider INRIX says major routes will be at their busiest between 11am and 4.30pm.
Delays are set to be worst on the M5, west of Bristol, on the holiday route to Devon and Cornwall.
Other badly hit routes include the M25 anticlockwise through the Dartford Tunnel and the M62 west between Leeds and Manchester.
For drivers looking to avoid the worst congestion, the best options are to travel on Saturday, set off early in the morning and keep updated with real-time traffic data
Dan Croft, Spokesman For INRIX
Dan Croft, spokesman for INRIX, said: “During peak hours over Easter, journeys could take UK drivers three times longer than usual.
“We are predicting Good Friday will be the worst for traffic from late morning into the afternoon.
“For drivers looking to avoid the worst congestion, the best options are to travel on Saturday, set off early in the morning and keep updated with real-time traffic data.”
Breakdown cover provider Green Flag is predicting up to 159,254 breakdowns and 88,009 incidents between tomorrow and Monday, translating to 22 breakdowns every minute over the five days.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: ‘We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway for our must-do work.
“Bank holidays are the least disruptive time to do it, when fewer passengers use the railway compared to the working week.
“That way we can do the maximum amount of work while impacting the fewest number of people.”