Travelers have been warned to expect busy roads, rail and airports over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend as a London tube strike, railway maintenance and balmy weather combine to make moving about the country more difficult.
Tube staff will be walking out on Friday, 3 June, in industrial action expected to affect key London stations. Underground workers with the RMT union will not turn up to Euston or Green Park, two important stations for those attending celebrations near Buckingham Palace, in a dispute over bullying at work.
Revellers hoping to enjoy the festivities in the capital may also struggle to access London by rail due to planned engineering works. Early morning Northwestern services between Milton Keynes and London Euston will be closed on 4 June, as well as services between Reigate, London Victoria, London Bridge and Beckenham junction or between Clapham Junction, Watford Junction and East Croydon.
National Rail has warned of large crowds on trains out of the capital following celebrations on the night of Saturday, 4 June.
However, some railways outside London are offering special deals for the holiday with Merseyside Rail introducing a two-day saver ticket costing £10 for adults and £5 for children, to help families make the most of the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Severn Valley Railway’s heritage line is giving away free tickets to anyone called Elizabeth or Elisabeth.
Navigation app Waze has warned of severe congestion on the roads over all four days weekend, with significant spillover expected on either side of the extended holiday, and have advised travelers to avoid the Wednesday evening or Thursday morning getaways as well.
They said: “Add in traffic caused by royal celebrations, staycationers and London tube strikes, and we can expect severe congestion over the Jubilee Bank Holiday, especially on roads like the M25 and M4 leaving the capital. To avoid getting stuck in long queues, motorists should plan their journeys ahead of time.”
Meanwhile, Green Flag has warned drivers to expect “havoc” after their polling suggests as many as 133,000 roads could be closed for street parties.
Check in desks and departure lounges at all UK airports are expected to be busy on the bank holiday as well as on the weekend prior, as travelers take advantage of the possibility of booking a nine day getaway with only three days spent off work.
Outbound travel to favourites, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Portugal will peak on the weekend prior to the bank holiday. Spain is the destination of choice, taking up 12.09 per million of all searches with second-place Italy coming in at 5.37 million followed by Turkey at 4.44 million, according to travel data experts Mabrian.
A spokesperson for Gatwick airport said their busiest day for inbound traffic will be Sunday, 5 June with Malaga, Barcelona and Madrid the most popular destinations travelers will be returning from.
i understands that the Home Office does not expect the weekend to be any busier than any previous bank holidays at airports. A spokesperson for the Border Force could not confirm if there would be an increase in border staff working over the weekend in order to avoid a repeat of long queues at passport control that occurred during the May day Bank Holiday.
Domestic air routes are also expected to be busy, with Eastern Airways announcing a capacity increase of 250 per cent on its Humberside to Newquay route to serve north-easterners headed for a late spring getaway to Cornwall’s beaches.
Flight prices have shot up for every day on the bank holiday. According to Skyscanner, flights from Barcelona to Heathrow cost as much as £664 in economy on Monday 6 June. However, the travel search engine says there are still bargains to be had. Out of the most popular UK destinations, Dublin is the best value averaging just £55 return from the UK over the break.
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