BRITAIN faces travel chaos on Bank Holiday Monday as over 10 MILLION cars are expected to take to the streets on what experts have dubbed ‘Meltdown Monday’.
Huge queues are also expected at UK airports as hundreds of thousands of Britons return home after the three-day break.
And to add insult to injury, much of the country’s rail network is currently closed for maintenance, meaning millions will be forced to use rail replacement services or seek alternative routes.
As a result, Monday will be the busiest day for travel over the bank holiday weekend, experts warn.
Despite some showers, transport experts say millions will find the streets growling as they pour into coasts, countryside and May Fairs on the traditional May bank holiday after two years of Covid cancellations.
AA spokesman Tony Rich said: “Monday appears to be the busiest day of the bank holiday weekend on the roads.
“Although the weather will be mixed on Monday, 10 million vehicles are expected for leisure trips, normal journeys and work purposes.
“People want to have a good time post Covid and May Day is a traditional day.
“Coastal routes, beauty spots, shopping districts and local events will be congested.”
Raids are also due on the M25 West between the M3 and M4 junctions and the A303 at Stonehenge, AA Trends showed.
National Highways didn’t suspend roadwork on trunk roads this weekend – meaning worse congestion after road chiefs removed much work for the Easter weekend.
Bosses say it wouldn’t be cost-effective to remove big plans this weekend.
But a whopping 2,700 roadworks from municipalities and utilities remained operational over the weekend, RAC Route Planner data shows.
This comes on top of Sunday’s travel carnage, which saw the M4 closed in both directions near Heathrow Airport following a horror accident involving a child.
Police said a 10-year-old girl was flown to hospital in a life-threatening condition in front of thousands of motorists.
While a further four people were also taken to hospitals in south and west London.
The incident has also caused delays extending to the M25 for eastbound travellers.
Police warned motorists that the M4 “will remain closed for some time” as officers search for witnesses following the horrific accident.
Highways England said detours are in place around the airport and urged motorists to avoid the area or avoid travel altogether.
Understaffed airports, including those under fire in Manchester and Birmingham, are set for passport and luggage queues as travelers return home.
The warnings follow two-hour raids on Friday as holidaymakers left the country for short breaks.
Returning airport travelers are also confronted with chaos after exiting the terminal – with rail works meaning the Gatwick Express service is suspended and the Stansted Express connection with a bus south of the airport.
Several works are also affected from London to Glasgow on the west coast railway line.
Travel insiders say that even more intensive railway construction work than at Easter is shunting train passengers onto the streets and increasing traffic jams.
Rail passengers have been advised not to travel on the main west coast line from London to Glasgow.
Mr Rich said: “Road traffic in areas with rail strikes and disruptions is expected to increase by 10 to 15 per cent.”
550 railway structures arrive this weekend – more than the 530 over the four-day Easter weekend.
Network Rail will spend £70m on projects over three days, with the £23m a day average making it a more productive workload than Easter’s £83m spread over four days, averaging £21m a day is equivalent to.
Rail expert Ian Baldry, who has led IBPTS Travel Advisor since 2001, said: “Rail works this weekend will be squeezed into three days, with even more intense work than over Easter.
“Replacement buses and diversions can add hours to the journey, causing major disruption for passengers this bank holiday weekend.
“Some passengers will just give up and keep going because they will say the train journey isn’t worth the hassle.”
Network Rail said: “We are asking passengers using rail this weekend to check their journey in advance.
“Upgrades will help make the railway more reliable and future-proof. Over 95 percent of the network remains untouched by works.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8732569/bank-holiday-travel-chaos-10million-cars-airports-railways/ Bank holiday travel chaos as 10 million cars hit the streets and huge queues clog airports on “Meltdown Monday”.