Road and rail bank holiday getaways face disruption

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·2-min read

People embarking on bank holiday getaways are being warned to expect disruption due to rail engineering work and congestion on the roads.

Network Rail is carrying out 620 upgrade projects this weekend, leading to the closure of some major lines.

No trains will run on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes on Saturday, Sunday or Monday due to track renewals and HS2 preparatory work.

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Avanti West Coast, which normally operates long-distance services between the capital and Scotland via Birmingham and north-west England, warned that “journeys will take longer and may involve a rail replacement service”.

It added: “We strongly advise you travel either side of the bank holiday weekend.”

A reduced service will operate to and from London King’s Cross as five platforms will be closed while the East Coast Upgrade continues.

Drainage work between Preston and Carnforth in Lancashire will disrupt Northern services in the area on Sunday and Monday.

Network Rail said people should “continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible”.

Latest Department for Transport figures show rail usage across Britain is at 42% of pre-coronavirus levels, while bus travel outside London is at 61%.

Car usage is at 88% of what it was before the virus crisis began.

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The RAC expects this will be the busiest May Day bank holiday weekend on UK roads since 2016, with an estimated 14.8 million leisure trips planned by car between Friday and Monday, partly in response to the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

It predicted that Saturday will see the most leisure traffic on the roads, but said this is partly dependent on the weather, with scattered showers and chilly winds likely.

RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “It might well be the case that the weather ends up playing a deciding role in which days end up being busiest.

“Any sunnier, warmer days could trigger many more people to jump into their cars.”