Easter travel chaos as 27.6m drivers hit roads and flights grounded

Easter travel chaos as 27.6 MILLION drivers hit the roads and flights are grounded: Accident on M25 sparks seven mile tailback while British Airways and easyJet cancel 100 flights

  • Easter bank holiday travellers have been hit by chaos on Britain’s roads this week
  • Seven-mile tailbacks have been reported at the Dartford Crossing this afternoon
  • The AA predicts 27.6million journeys will be made over a busy Easter weekend
  • Meanwhile hundreds of flights have been cancelled by BA and Easyjet over staff shortages 

Easter holiday travellers have been have again been hit by chaos with seven-mile tailbacks on the M25 and plane passengers are left without luggage. 

Families hoping for a UK get away on the second day of glorious sunshine were met with long queues after a crash in Surrey and a separate ‘police incident’ at the Dartford Crossing brought traffic to a standstill. 

Meanwhile British Airways is reported to have stopped loading luggage on some flights and is leaving dozens of planes uncleaned as it struggles to cope with the overwhelming Easter weekend demand.

It follows hundreds of cancellations in recent weeks due to staff shortages, leaving tens of thousands of Brits stranded at airports across the UK. 

Families hoping to get away on a second day of glorious sunshine were met with long queues after a crash in Surrey and a separate ‘police incident’ at the Dartford Crossing brought traffic to a standstill

A statement said: ‘We are currently on the scene of an incident on the #Dartford River Crossing.

‘We were called to concerns for the welfare of a woman in the area shortly after 10am this morning, Saturday 16 April.

‘The crossing has been closed whist the incident is being dealt with. National Highways will be facilitating a diversion through one of the tunnels.

‘We will provide an update on the situation as soon as we practically can.’

Motorists have faced a chaotic start to the Easter break, although traffic today is not believed to be as congested as the Good Friday getaway, according to the AA. 

Motorists have faced a chaotic start to the Easter break, although traffic today is not believed to be as congested as the Good Friday getaway, according to the AA

The motoring organisation has predicted a total of 27.6 million journeys will be made over a busier than usual Easter weekend as people enjoy the good weather, embark on staycations and avoid train travel due to engineering works.

A crash caused delays of up to 40 minutes on part of the M6 earlier on Saturday, according to AA President Edmund King.

He added that routes to the South West were not as busy as Good Friday, but there have been some delays on the M4 and M5 near Bristol.

He said: ‘Today traffic has been busy but less congested than Good Friday.

‘I have driven 176 miles in three and a half hours from Hertfordshire to Old Trafford and charged the car on the way.

‘Overall, the picture is busy but generally the traffic is flowing.’

The RAC has suggested the best time to travel on major roads is after 3pm on both Easter Saturday and Sunday, and then either before 10.30am on Easter Monday or after 6.30pm to avoid major queues.

National Highway alerted people to a ‘police incident’ at the QEII bridge earlier today

Meanwhile, Brits have also faced disruption on trains, ferries and at airports at they attempted to get away for the four-day weekend.

Staff shortages brought chaos to Manchester, Birmingham and Heathrow airports amid soaring demand for Easter getaways, with airlines cancelling hundreds of flights.

A total of 1,236 flights in the UK were cancelled by airlines between March 28 and April 12, according to data company Cirium – a 428 per cent increase on the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile queues to get down to the Port of Dover stretched back for hours, with some drivers waiting almost whole days for delayed ferries due to ongoing problems with P&O.

There have also been some reports of fuel shortages, although the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent forecourts, said it was not aware of widespread problems.

Gordon Balmer, PRA executive director, said: ‘We are aware of protests at several fuel supply sites; however, the majority are unaffected.

‘Fuel suppliers are working hard to ensure fuels are being delivered as quickly as possible and our members are working closely with them and following their advice.’

One female driver in London said: ‘(I) haven’t been able to (fill up) as of yet, still trying to find some in East London, Newham.

‘Tried About five different stations, I’ve managed to get some now at a Texaco petrol station but only two pumps were working.’

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