Business

Chaos expected on trains, planes and roads for Easter – live updates

Getaways by road, rail, sky and sea are expected to be disrupted this long weekend as travellers race to get away for the Easter break.

Despite the soaring cost of fuel, motorists are planning more Easter leisure journeys than ever before in the coming weekend.

The RAC says drivers are collectively planning more than 21 million leisure journeys by car this weekend – the highest number for an Easter bank holiday since the organisation first started tracking motorists’ plans in 2014.

The scale of the Easter getaway on the roads is likely to be increased because of the closures of key parts of the West Coast Main railway line.

Meanwhile, easyJet and British Airways continue to cancel flights, having axed more than 80 scheduled services between them today.

While both airlines have attributed their cancellations in the past fortnight to staff sickness and absence, UK airports have reported staffing issues leading to longer than usual queues and waits.

P&O Ferries has also caused chaos for holidaymakers by suspending all of its Dover-Calais services over the Easter weekend.

Follow the latest updates below.

1649928405

P&O Ferries cancels all Dover-Calais sailings over Easter weekend

The company had hoped to resume crossing over Easter, but has been telling customers that no services will be operating until at least Tuesday 19 April.

In response to Twitter user Jeremy Palliser’s query as to whether ferries would be running on Thursday or Friday this week, P&O Ferries responded: “This service remains suspended until the 18 April inclusive, we will update when we have more information and if this changes we will contact you directly. We have contacted customers who were affected. Thank you.”

Helen Coffey14 April 2022 10:26

1649926767

Want to avoid those airport queues? Consider ditching flights this summer

If you’re worried about the mega-queues and security delays causing some passengers to miss flights this spring, there is one blindingly simple solution, writes travel editor Helen Coffey.

You could always ditch the flights and travel closer to the ground this summer, like Helen – who has pledged to travel flight-free throughout 2022.

“Even before the recent turbulence at airports across the land, which even saw unlucky passengers miss flights because they were stuck in hours-long security queues, I couldn’t help but feel a little smug about my choice every time a friend told me about a disastrous flight delay or a nightmare case of lost luggage,” writes Helen.

“The longer I go without flying, in fact, the more I wonder how I ever tolerated it in the first place.”

Helen Coffey14 April 2022 09:59

1649925083

Brits miss holidays waiting for new passports to arrive

Some British holidaymakers are missing out on holidays and losing money due to longer-than-usual waiting times for new passports.

Recent reviews on Passportwaitingtime.co.uk, which tracks consumers’ waiting time during applications, show customers’ frustration with the often inconsistent wait times for a new passport.

One user’s review, posted on Wednesday, says she’s waited more than 12 weeks for two of her family’s passports to be renewed.

The typical waiting time for a new passport is five weeks – as stated on the government website – unless it is a first time adult passport, in which case the average wait is six weeks.

However, the passport office advises travellers to allow up to 10 weeks to allow for any delays, with the disclaimer, “Standard online application processing times may change quickly.”

Lucy Thackray14 April 2022 09:31

1649923350

Dartford Tunnel breakdown snarls up M25

Motorists travelling anticlockwise around the eastern section of the M25 are being warned of delays of an hour as a result of a broken-down lorry. It is in the eastern bore of the Dartford Tunnel, with all traffic diverted to the western bore.

National Highways South East says: “The Eastbore tunnel at the Dartford crossing is closed for recovery of a broken down lorry.

“There are currently long delays of at least 60 minutes on approach along the M25 anti-clockwise. If this closure impacts on your planned route, please allow extra journey time.”

There are height restrictions within the tunnel being used.

Vehicles over 4.8m (15’9”) are advised “to seek an alternative route via the clockwise M25”.

Simon Calder14 April 2022 09:02

1649921385

East Coast main line hits problems

Passengers on the main rail line from Scotland, northeast England and Yorkshire to London King’s Cross are facing delays after a train driver reported hitting an obstruction in the Hatfield area.

National Rail says: “Fleet engineers and the Network Rail quick response staff are on site and are working with the driver to get the train moving as quickly as possible.

“Only one out of two lines are available for trains travelling towards London. Please allow extra time to complete your journey, as services may be subject to delays of up to 20 minutes in the Hatfield area.

“In order to fix the issue safely, more lines will need to be blocked resulting in further delays.
“Some trains may also be diverted away from the area to avoid increased delays, but this will still lead to extended journey times.”

LNER Azuma trains at Kings Cross

(Simon Calder)

Simon Calder14 April 2022 08:29

1649920479

Delays on Croydon-Gatwick trains expected until 09.00

Trains between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport are currently being disrupted, with delays expected until at least 9am.

“There is a fault with the signalling system between Gatwick Airport and East Croydon. As a result of this, trains may be delayed by up to 10 minutes,” says a National Rail update.

Thameslink also tweeted about the delays, saying: “We are currently advising that you allow an additional 10 minutes for travel between Gatwick Airport and East Croydon (towards London). This is owing to a signalling fault affecting our fast ‘Quarry’ line between Earlswood and Coulsdon South.”

Lucy Thackray14 April 2022 08:14

1649920187

Record number of Easter drivers could lead to severe congestion on roads

Despite the soaring cost of fuel, motorists are planning more Easter leisure journeys than ever before in the coming weekend.

The RAC says drivers are collectively planning more than 21 million leisure journeys by car this weekend – the highest number for an Easter bank holiday since the organisation first started tracking motorists’ plans in 2014.

The busiest day is set to be Good Friday, followed by bank holiday Monday. Saturday and Sunday will see slightly fewer trips.

The scale of the Easter getaway on the roads is likely to be increased because of the closures of key parts of the West Coast Main railway line. Most supporters of Manchester City and Liverpool are expected to drive to Wembley to watch the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Here are the key routes to watch out for:

Simon Calder14 April 2022 08:09

1649919598

All the flights cancelled today

As the UK’s air passengers set off on their Easter breaks ahead of the long weekend, flight schedules are still troubled by daily cancellations.

Once again British Airways and easyJet have grounded more than 80 services between them from their main bases, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, respectively.

British Airways has not made on-the-day cancellations. The airline says passengers were given notice of a week or two of flight cancellations, due to resourcing issues.

Both airlines cite staff shortages caused by sickness as the cause of their problems.

Here are the flights that are cancelled so far today at Heathrow by BA and at Gatwick by easyJet:

Simon Calder14 April 2022 07:59

1649919024

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest news and updates ahead of your Easter travels.

Lucy Thackray14 April 2022 07:50

Related Articles

Back to top button