Holidaymakers could face a weekend of travel chaos as the half-term getaway begins. Dozens of flights have been delayed at Manchester Airport today, while families embarking on half-term getaways have also faced long queues at the Port of Dover.
Thousands of Liverpool supporters descended on the Kent port to board cross-Channel ferries en route to Paris for Saturday’s Champions League final. There is also high demand for sailings from families embarking on trips to the continent for half-term.
The port advised passengers to ‘pack adequate supplies including food and water’ as it is expecting ‘a very busy week ahead’. Ferry firm Irish Ferries warned customers to ‘expect delays of up to three hours at port security and check-in’.
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Earlier today P&O Ferries wrote that traffic on Jubilee Way, a key road used to access the port, is ‘at a standstill’ and there are ‘also queues on the A20 on the approach to Dover’.
There’s also been long delays on dozens of flights from Manchester Airport today, according to air traffic monitoring website FlightRadar24. Flights from airlines including Ryanair, Tui, Jet2, easyjet and Turkish Airlines, faced delays of more than an hour, with several delayed by more than two hours.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport was also busy with football supporters flying to Paris. There are scheduled to be 24 flights from the airport to the French capital this week with capacity for a total of 4,674 passengers, according to aviation data firm Cirium.
Saturday is set to be the busiest day, with 11 flights. Just two flights operated from Liverpool to Paris last week.
Meanwhile, the RAC issued a warning over congestion on motorways and major A roads as an estimated 17.9 million leisure trips by road will be made between Friday and Sunday, with Saturday the busiest day.
Spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Major routes to holiday destinations will start to clog up. Drivers can beat the worst of the queues by planning the time of their trips carefully.
“An early start is always best or, failing that, driving at dusk if that’s a feasible option.”
Mr Dennis also urged motorists to carry out pre-journey checks such as oil and coolant levels and tire pressures to ‘cut the chances of becoming a breakdown statistic’.
And a rail operator is warning of travel chaos on trains this weekend as strike action continues. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is set to strike this weekend, causing major disruption for travel in the north.
TransPennine Express (TPE) are urging people to not travel, or at least plan ahead, as only a small number of trains will be running. They are expecting busier trains with people heading to Liverpool if they win the Champions League on Saturday night, and asking people to therefore seek alternative transport.
Journeys between Manchester and Sheffield are also expected to be disrupted. Network Rail engineering works mean there will be no TPE services between Stockport and Sheffield so people making ‘essential’ trips between Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield are being told to allow extra time as the journey will take at least 30 minutes longer due to using a different route .
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.