The Easter Getaway: A Busy Travel Period Ahead

The Easter Getaway: A Busy Travel Period Ahead

The Easter getaway has officially started, and it is predicted that there will be approximately 2.6 million car journeys on the nation’s roads today alone. Good Friday is anticipated to be the busiest day for travel throughout the Easter break, with the number of car journeys surpassing the projected two million for Easter Monday and 2.3 million for both Saturday and Sunday. The Port of Dover is preparing for around 20,000 cars to pass through between Thursday and Easter Monday, despite facing challenges due to Storm Nelson which caused delays in sailings. According to the port’s chief executive Doug Bannister, there was a backlog overnight caused by the weather, impacting their operations. However, they were able to overcome the challenges and manage the situation efficiently. Despite the initial delays, the border controls at the port were taking approximately two hours for tourist vehicles to pass through, although it is expected to improve as the crowds thin out during the mid-afternoon.

Travel Bookings and Passenger Numbers

Ferry firm Stena Line has reported a 26% increase in bookings on Irish Sea routes for the Easter weekend of 2023. Furthermore, travel trade organisation Abta has shared that airports are experiencing significant numbers, with a projected 175,000 departures from Stansted, 105,000 from Luton, 160,000 from Manchester, 79,000 from Birmingham, and 89,000 from Edinburgh between Friday and Monday. The most sought-after international destinations include Turkey, Dubai, the Canary Islands, as well as trips to Dublin. Manchester Airport has indicated a 7% rise in expected passenger numbers compared to the same period last year, while Glasgow and Birmingham airports are also anticipating a considerable increase in departures. Bristol predicts 30,000 holiday trips on Easter Sunday alone, and Liverpool Airport expects around 60,000 passengers over the four days, showcasing a 7% increase from the previous year’s numbers.

Transportation Trends and Weather Conditions

Fortunately, there have been no major delays reported at airports or on rail services, although some rail lines, such as the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes, are temporarily closed for engineering or construction work. On the roads, the M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton, as well as the M3 between the M25 and the south coast, are expected to face the most congestion during this period. In terms of weather, the weekend is anticipated to be unsettled, with a combination of sunshine and blustery scattered showers on Friday. There is also a risk of thunderstorms in the southeast, as mentioned by the Met Office’s deputy chief meteorologist Dan Harris. Despite the challenging weather conditions, there is optimism that the weather will gradually improve throughout the weekend, providing a mix of spring-like weather across the UK. This will include periods of sunshine and warmer temperatures as the winds become lighter. However, regions like the west and southwest may experience passing showers, some of which could be heavy and frequent at times.

The Easter getaway is expected to be a bustling period for travel, both domestically and internationally. With an increase in car journeys, ferry bookings, and airport departures, it is crucial for travelers to plan their trips accordingly and be prepared for potential delays or disruptions. While the weather may pose challenges, the hope is for an overall improvement in conditions as the weekend progresses. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy your Easter break responsibly.


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