Staff shortages, industrial disputes, maintenance work and an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley will mean roads, airports and seaports will be packed over the Easter weekend
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Last-minute measures are reportedly being drawn up just days before Easter amid fears of travel chaos for millions of Brits.
There have been huge queues at some UK airports and on roads leading to ferry ports in recent days.
And there are warnings this weekend’s Easter outing will be the busiest in at least eight years, according to the RAC.
It predicts 21.5 million leisure car journeys will be made between Good Friday and Easter Monday – the most since the service began tracking motorists’ Easter plans in 2014.
The busiest day on the roads is expected to be Good Friday.
Staff shortages, industrial disputes, maintenance work and an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley will mean roads, as well as airports and seaports, will be congested.
That Daily Mail reports that contingency plans are now being drawn up to enable Brits looking for an Easter holiday to avoid the looming travel chaos.
Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Service Union is said to have said bonuses would be offered to backroom staff who normally carry out checks for prohibited items at airports to staff Heathrow counters.
She said: “There is a possibility of significant problems later this week and over the weekend and planning has already begun. We bring staff from Scotland and Northern Ireland to Heathrow.
“They are paid expenses and overtime and are offered a cash bonus for every shift they cover at Heathrow. Some passengers will drive through, others could queue for several hours. It won’t be chaos everywhere, but there will be patches.”
Travel companies are said to be the busiest since the pandemic began, with nearly 4.2 million passengers passing through Heathrow last month, down 35 per cent from the 6.5 million in March 2019.
Over Easter, Good Friday is expected to be the busiest day of the long weekend with around 2,430 flights departing the country.
The Times reports that problems at airports are compounded by finding recruits and completing their security checks on time.
Senior industry insiders told the outlet it would take up to six months to vet new security screening staff, cabin crew and baggage operators as airports and airlines expanded their operations.
But ministers are said to have insisted they will not cut corners on security checks.
A Government source reportedly said: “The one thing the British public doesn’t want us to take a chance on is who has security clearance to work at airlines.”
A Home Office spokesman added: “We are working closely with all UK ports and airports to ensure passengers have the smoothest possible journey and we will continue to be flexible in our deployment of staff.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/last-minute-bid-launched-save-26690852 'Last minute bid launched' to salvage Easter break amid travel chaos warnings