December 7, 2022

Just Moments

Travel Groove

Travel chaos as 21 MILLION cars to hit the road TODAY as Easter holidays begin

BRITS face travel chaos across the country today as 21million cars hit the road ahead of the big Easter getaway.

The traffic nightmare is just the latest in travel mayhem across the county with chaotic scenes at airports and ferries already unfolding this week.

Passengers began queuing at airports in the early hours of the morning after chaotic scenes yesterday

6

Passengers began queuing at airports in the early hours of the morning after chaotic scenes yesterdayCredit: w8media
The roads will also be busy, with 21m journeys this weekend alone. Eurotunnel bosses say they're experiencing a 'tsunami of traffic'

6

The roads will also be busy, with 21m journeys this weekend alone. Eurotunnel bosses say they’re experiencing a ‘tsunami of traffic’Credit: PA
Huge queues have built up at the port in Dover, with travel chiefs warning they're facing the worst incident since Christmas 2020, when lorry drivers were trapped for days

6

Huge queues have built up at the port in Dover, with travel chiefs warning they’re facing the worst incident since Christmas 2020, when lorry drivers were trapped for daysCredit: UkNewsinPictures
Manchester Airport has been particularly badly affected amid crippling staff shortages. Earlier this month, distressed children were forced to pee in plastic bags during five-hour queues

6

Manchester Airport has been particularly badly affected amid crippling staff shortages. Earlier this month, distressed children were forced to pee in plastic bags during five-hour queuesCredit: PA

Those hoping to catch a ferry have faced a particularly gruelling time.

There have been eight days of tailbacks at Dover already after P&O axed 800 members of staff and announced they’ll be replaced by cheaper labour hired abroad,

Yesterday, the firm suspended all of its services until the end of the weekend, and told would-be passengers to book with other companies.

And many train journeys will be replaced by buses as engineering work gets under way.

Nightmare delays expected next Easter weekend as millions plan getaways
I'm a security expert and this is how to tell if your airport queue will be slow

Long delays started at airports started as early as 3am today.

Huge queues of air passengers heading away on sunshine breaks snaked around check-in desks during the early hours.

One traveller departing from Manchester tweeted “chaos already” – while others at Gatwick say they’ve faced four hour queues.

Manchester Airport urged passengers to arrive three hours ahead of take-off or risk missing their flights.

Charlie Cornish, boss of Manchester Airports Group, said: “We don’t have the number of staff we need.

“We are advising passengers to arrive three hours before their flight.”

Earlier this month, upset children were forced to pee in plastic bags after being trapped in five-hour queues.

Youngsters also vomited as they became exhausted during the wait, it’s said.

Alex Nash, a press officer for the airport, apologised to customers for the “unsatisfactory” experience on April 1 and said problems are caused by “staff shortages and recruitment challenges”.

“At times in the coming weeks, we do expect wait times in security to be up to 90 minutes,” he said.

“As such we are asking passengers to arrive at the airport three hours in advance and to double-check their hand luggage complies with security rules before arriving, as any additional screening of bags will add to wait times.”

One couple heading away for their anniversary told of how they arrived at the airport at 4.30pm but were still queuing to get through security at 8.15pm – 10 minutes after their flight was due to leave.

This morning, issues have also been reported at Heathrow and Birmingham as tens of thousands of Brits try to head away.

British Airways and easyJet have cancelled 110 flights, piling on the pain for those desperate to travel.

Customers are advised to read up on their rights when it comes to cancelled flights and ferry bookings.

TRAVEL MISERY

In Dover, drivers have faced horrific traffic jams. Council leader Trevor Bartlett said the town could “not tolerate another weekend of gridlock” and was on the brink of declaring a “major incident”.

Travel chiefs say the situation is the worst it’s been since Christmas 2020, when France closed its borders, trapping more than 250,000 lorry drivers in huge queues.

And Channel Tunnel bosses say anyone hoping to travel to France from Folkestone this weekend must come early – and bring food and drink with them.

Toby Howe, tactical lead at the Kent Resilience Forum, advised travellers to “allow a lot of extra time”.

He told BBC Breakfast delays had been caused by “the perfect storm” of P&O chaos, a storm at sea which held up crossings, snow and IT problems.

DFDS ferries reported two-hour delays on services from the Kent port to Calais and said it could not accept desperate P&O customers. It expects 40,000 travellers today and on Sunday.

Chris Parker, from the company, said: “We’ve added extra sailings and increased passenger capacity as well.”

The RAC is predicting “two big waves of Easter traffic” this weekend and next, with 21m journeys today and tomorrow.

CHAOS AT AIRPORT

Holidaymakers are facing a “tsunami of traffic” on their way to Eurotunnel and ferry crossings.

Eurotunnel said that greater demand at the start of the holidays and a reduction in ferry capacity was creating “a sort of tsunami of traffic all at one time”.

It said passengers would be offered the next available service if they missed their bookings.

But those attempting to dodge the roads and take a train instead could also be in for a rough ride.

Network Rail is carrying out 530 engineering works, beginning today.

The situation will not improve anytime soon.

Overground services, London Underground and airport shuttle trains all face disruption between April 15 and 18.

My daughter was paralysed by thug ex but 18 months on she finally hugged me back
Brooklyn welcomes Gordon, Eva Longoria & Serena Williams to pre-wedding bash

And rail firms have been accused of enforcing a “ridiculous” administration charge on customers who cancel Easter journeys amid nationwide disruption.

Customers who do not want to travel on replacement buses, but booked their tickets after they were confirmed, will need to pay a £10 fee to obtain a refund.

Terminal two at Heathrow was rammed with travellers attempting to check in

6

Terminal two at Heathrow was rammed with travellers attempting to check inCredit: Splash
One passenger at Manchester tweeted this morning: 'Chaos already'

6

One passenger at Manchester tweeted this morning: ‘Chaos already’Credit: Getty