Road and train delays hit the Easter getaway

Travellers were warned of road and rail delays as the great Easter getaway started today.

With 40 per cent of Londoners expected to head out of  the capital, according to a London Live TV poll, today was predicted to be the busiest day of the year on UK roads.

Congestion is expected to be heaviest on the M25, the M6 through the West Midlands, and the M1 northbound in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Four Tube lines — the Bakerloo,  District, Jubilee and Piccadilly — will be hit by partial closures over the weekend as well as on the London Overground and the Docklands Light Railway.

Engineering work will see the  Heathrow Express and Gatwick Express reduced to twice-hourly  services, and will also affect trains to and from Charing Cross, London Bridge, Paddington and King’s  Cross. The East Coast main line will run a reduced service from King’s Cross between Friday and Sunday, with some trains starting or terminating at  Stevenage or Peterborough.

Some 370,000 passengers are due to leave from Heathrow, 200,000 from Gatwick, 120,000 from Stansted and 60,000 from Luton.

A total of 1.6 million Britons are  estimated to be heading abroad for Easter, with another 6.5 million people planning day trips over the holiday period. Eurostar is expecting to carry more than 130,000 passengers through the Channel Tunnel — 15 per cent up on last Easter.

Motoring firm Green Flag predicted there will be 60,000 breakdowns on the roads, with faulty batteries and tyre and clutch problems the most common causes.