August Bank Holiday travel Rail firm warns passengers not to use trains

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Euston station busy Issuing its alert to rail passengers, a Virgin Trains spokesman said: “We expect our services on both routes to be very busy from Friday to Monday, and are advising customers to avoid travelling on our west coast route on Saturday or Sunday unless necessary. Modernisation work means services between Cardiff and Newport will be reduced until September 3, while no trains will operate between Swindon and Bristol Parkway from Saturday until September 17.When – and where – should drivers avoid?Some five million motorists are expected to embark on leisure journeys on Monday, up by nearly one million people – or a fifth – on the 2016 figure.The RAC recommended drivers wanting to beat the queues this weekend should avoid Friday afternoon and evening, and set off early if travelling on Monday.The proportion of Britons planning an overnight UK trip this weekend has risen by more than a third compared to last year. Due to Crossrail work, there are no trains between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield, Ingatestone, Billericay and Barking on Sunday and Monday. “If customers choose to travel, we strongly recommend they book their tickets in advance, make a seat reservation and allow longer to get to their destination.”More Waterloo services set to be disruptedLondon Waterloo services, which have been disrupted for more than a fortnight as part of a major project, have been reduced even further until Tuesday.Fewer than half of normal weekday services will operate as platforms 1-14 are closed to enable platforms to be extended to accommodate longer trains, boosting capacity at the UK’s busiest station by 30 per cent. People are being urged not to travel by train in some parts of Britain over the Bank Holiday weekend, as major engineering work affecting several lines is predicted to cause chaos.Millions of people embarking on getaways face severely disrupted journeys amid stark warnings from rail firms.Virgin Trains asked customers to avoid travelling on its west coast route on Saturday and Sunday as it issued an alert stating that its services will be “very busy” over the long weekend.High demand is also expected for east coast trains between London King’s Cross and Scotland due to passengers seeking alternative routes to and from London because of the closure of London Euston on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Edinburgh’s festivals coming to an end.Meanwhile, drivers are warned to expect congested roads, with the Automobile Association (AA) predicting that the dash to popular destinations will “start in earnest” from Friday lunchtime as people finish work early to make the most of the break.A poll of more than 16,000 motorists found that 43 per cent are likely to be on the road between Friday and Monday, either travelling on holiday or on a day trip. This equates to around 15 million drivers on leisure journeys this weekend. A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We apologise to our passengers for the added disruption to their journeys and thank them for their patience.”This all about delivering a bigger better Waterloo station fit for the 21st century.”National Express, the UK’s largest coach operator, is putting on an extra 4,000 seats over the weekend to destinations affected by the Euston and Waterloo work.Delays and disruption at other stationsBetween Saturday and September 2, there will be no Southeastern services to or from London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross as work continues to rebuild London Bridge and the surrounding railway.Queuing systems will be in place at Cannon Street station between Tuesday and Friday next week to cope with demand.center_img M25 Please check before you travel this bank holiday as our major #AugustBHWorks are happening 🔧➡️— Network Rail (@networkrail) August 8, 2017 Flights: which airports will be busiest?Travel trade organisation Abta estimated 2.1 million British holidaymakers will travel abroad over the weekend with Spain, Turkey and Greece among the most popular destinations.Heathrow expects 243,000 departing passengers on Friday alone, while an estimated 304,000 will fly from Gatwick over the entire weekend.What will the weather be like this weekend?Met Office forecasters predict that much of England and Wales will see mainly dry conditions with sunny spells, and temperatures reaching approximately 24C (75F) in the South.But parts of northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland – which does not have a bank holiday this weekend – will see rain or showers at times, with the mercury reaching around 17C to 21C (63F to 70F). Video: Weather forecast for this weekend Some 6.9 million adults are planning a domestic break over the last long weekend before Christmas, up from 5.1 million in 2016, according to tourism body VisitEngland.Traffic information supplier Inrix reported that the worst congestion blackspots during last year’s August bank holiday weekend were the M25 between Junctions 9 and 21 – which runs past Heathrow Airport – and the M5 southbound between Junctions 14 and J22 in the South West. Motorists on both sections of road endured delays of up to 90 minutes.Highways England is removing roadworks from 445 miles of motorways and major A roads ahead of the bank holiday period to ease journeys. The closure of London’s Euston station this weekend is likely to cause long delays. File pictureCredit:FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA Sections of the M25 were among the worst congestion blackspots during last year’s August bank holiday weekend Credit:Tim Ockenden/PAlast_img read more