Motorists stuck in ‘pretty horrendous’ 20-mile long Good Friday motorway queues

Holiday traffic has caused “pretty horrendous” 20-mile long queues on major motorways, adding 45 minutes to journey times.

Around 2.6 million car journeys were expected to be made on Good Friday, with “significant” congestion around the M25 and roads in the South West and South East by lunchtime.

The RAC said holidaymakers heading south were behind much of the congestion after forecasters predicted sunnier spells there over the next few days.

Queues of 15 to 20 miles were seen on the M4 and M5 interchange near Bristol, which is adding 45 minutes on to journey times.

Meanwhile, the western side of the M25 was described as “pretty bad” and a “lot worse than normal”, with 40-minute queues.

It was also busy on the top-end of the M20, with congestion heading into Folkestone.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams told the PA news agency: “Everyone’s heading to Devon and Cornwall, that’s the attraction, and there’s been a bit of better weather.

“It’s causing some pretty horrendous queues.”

Tourist board VisitEngland said around 11 million people in the UK are planning an overnight Easter trip, generating an estimated £3.2 billion for the economy.

Drivers were warned journeys could take twice as long on some routes.

A survey by motoring company RAC and transport analysis company Inrix suggests 14 million trips by road could be made across the weekend.

Elsewhere, the processing time at the Port of Dover hit two hours for tourists on Friday.

Ferry company DFDS reported that its services at Dover were running with delays “due to strong winds in the Channel”.

Wightlink said ferries to the Isle of Wight were “busy”, but running on time.

Travel trade organisation Abta had predicted that two million British holidaymakers were set to jet abroad over the four days.

Airports are reporting “strong numbers”, with 175,000 due to leave from Stansted, 105,000 from Luton, 160,000 from Manchester, 79,000 from Birmingham, and 89,000 from Edinburgh between Friday and Monday.

Turkey, Dubai and the Canary Islands are among the most popular destinations abroad – and trips to Dublin are also in demand.

It comes after Storm Nelson brought gusts of 50mph, with a Met Office yellow weather warning for wind covering London and the South East, the South West and east of England on Friday.

Deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris said: “The weather is expected to gradually improve following the widely unsettled spell of the past few days, with a fairly typical mix of spring-like weather across the UK.

“There will be some sunshine, and it will feel increasingly warm for most as the winds become lighter.

“However, the west and especially south west is likely to see passing showers too, which could be quite heavy and frequent at times.

“Eastern coastal districts are also likely to feel increasingly cold as an onshore breeze develops, threatening persistent low cloud in some areas too.”

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –