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Christmas getaway: Travellers warned over ‘frantic Friday’

People travelling around the UK in time for Christmas are being warned to expect delays in parts of ..

By admin , in UK , at December 22, 2017

People travelling around the UK in time for Christmas are being warned to expect delays in parts of the country.

The RAC says the Christmas getaway will combine with the usual commuter traffic as well as rail disruption to create a "Frantic Friday" on Britain's roads.

One rail company has warned of some cancellations to services on Friday.

Highways England says almost 400 miles of road works have been suspended over the festive period, but drivers should still expect "busy road conditions".

It is urging motorists to check their vehicles before setting off.

A spokesman for Highways England, Stuart Thompson, said "Some families have already reached their Christmas destinations, but we are expecting higher volumes of traffic on Friday.

"We're urging people to make sure their cars are ready for the journey – check the oil, water and tyres. Most importantly, make sure you have enough fuel."

The RAC says it expects traffic to peak between 4pm and 8pm on Friday.

Virgin Trains says strikes which had been due to affect the West Coast mainline have now been called off. The company said it would try to operate a full service on Friday, but there would be some cancellations.

Around 260 engineering projects, including track maintenance, will cause problems elsewhere.

  • London Paddington will be closed between Christmas Eve and December 27
  • Southeastern will not run trains to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street between 23 December and 1 January

In England, the "roadworks embargo" will be in place on motorways and major A roads from 06:00 GMT on Friday until 00:01 on 2 January.

The Welsh Government says no road works will take place in Wales over Christmas and the New Year other than essential or emergency work.

Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said that while mostly mild weather was expected in the coming days, there were large stockpiles of grit to cope with any icy conditions.

Coach operator National Express says it is increasing the number of services from locations such as Bournemouth, Cardiff, Leeds, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester.

On Thursday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh took the train from London to King's Lynn station in Norfolk, for their Christmas break at Sandringham.

Philip was carrying some holiday reading – a copy of Michelangelo: The Complete Paintings, Sculptures and Architecture by Frank Zollner – which was published earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) says 4.5m people are expected to travel abroad in the coming days.

It says airports, ports and international train stations will be exceptionally busy and that people should begin their journeys earlier than usual.

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