It’s not the first Easter that Britons have had to alter their travel plans or put up with delays, but in complete contrast to last Easter’s warm, spring-like temperatures, this week gale force winds, and possible snow on high ground in the north are threatening many holidaymakers’ travel plans for the long weekend.
Rail passengers on certain routes are being advised not to travel if possible, due to engineering work from Good Friday to Easter Monday, and timeshare owners driving to resorts in parts of the country may want to check ahead, with gale force winds, heavy rain and possibly snow affecting travel across the UK.
One of the rail routes to be affected will be the London to Scotland West Coast main line, while improvements are carried out between Carlisle and Glasgow and Crewe and Warrington.
Virgin Trains warned that services in Scotland and the North of England will be “severely reduced”, adding: “We strongly recommend that you do not travel on these dates.”
Meanwhile, Network Rail have said improvements are taking place over Easter because there tends to be a drop in passenger numbers over this holiday, with the number of commuters dropping by up to 40%.
A Network Rail chief executive, said: “Our improvement programme this Easter, delivered by a 14,000 strong army of rail workers, is focussed on delivering a better service for passengers.
“We are acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway during the holidays to reunite with their friends and families, which is why the vast majority of the network is running normally over the holiday period but there will be disruption for some.
“I’d like to apologise to any passengers whose plans are affected by our improvement work, but I hope they will understand that this is a quieter time on the railway and we want to minimise the overall impact of these vital projects on passengers.”
Those driving to see friends or get away for a few days will be joining around 16 million motorists set to take to Britain’s roads over the Easter break.
RAC estimates that four million will be travelling on Good Friday and around 4.5 million will be on the road on Easter Sunday.
RAC said: “The first spring bank holiday of the year traditionally heralds the start of busier weekends on the nation’s roads.
“This Easter is set to be a hectic one with 16 million of us getting behind the wheel for an Easter break, but at least we will benefit from the longer days and lighter evenings to complete our journeys.”
The weather will be misbehaving, too. Although the Met Office has confirmed that weather conditions will begin to improve by the end of the week, with things calming down and brightening up on Saturday onwards, this follows a week of blustery showers with winds up to 50mph in parts of the country as many parts of the UK remain on yellow “be aware” alert.
A Met Office forecaster predicted: “On Good Friday there will be quite a lot of cloud around for the West and South of Scotland, while the North and East of the country is likely to see the best of the sunshine.
“Going into the weekend, things continue to settle down and while there will still be a fair amount of cloud around, there will be some brighter spells.”
As always, if you are jetting off for Easter, leave plenty of time to get to the airport and check ahead to make sure weather conditions are not causing delays or cancellations.