Thousands of roadworks will add to problems, while there are fears that some petrol stations could run short on fuel amid protests at oil terminals. Meanwhile, 2,500 trains will be hit by delays or cancellations over the break, forcing more people on to roads and worsening traffic snarl-ups. The first holiday period since pandemic rules were scrapped is fuelling a rush for breaks. Some 21 million weekend leisure car trips are set to be taken by the end of today, with 12 million expected over next weekend, RAC data trends show.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “It’s a bumper time for traffic as it is two years since people last had a holiday period without restrictions.”
Around 2,000 roadworks will be in place over Easter, RAC Route Planner trends showed. There will be also be 88 miles of trunk route roadworks.
Further problems may be caused by petrol stations running low or dry after campaigners Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion blocked tanker drivers leaving terminals, including sites at Birmingham, Southampton and London.
Motorists were advised to avoid peak travel hours if they want to dodge the worst jams. Maundy Thursday afternoon and Good Friday daytime are typically busy periods at Easter.
Mr Williams said: “Think about the time of day you travel and try to drive when fewer other people will be doing so.” One of the biggest Easter rail work schedules on record is also taking place, with 530 engineering schemes between Good Friday and Easter Monday and 2,500 trains delayed, cancelled or curtailed.
They include four projects on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow.
Air travellers also face delays. The Stansted Express shuttle service will be suspended and there will be no Southern trains between London Victoria and East Croydon, diverting the Gatwick Express.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Over 95 percent of our network is open for business but works will affect some routes. Please check before you travel.”