TRAVELLERS are being urged to plan ahead as millions take to the roads, rail and air on one of the busiest getaway days of the year.
An estimated two million Britons will fly abroad over the weekend, while those planning rail journeys over the next few weeks are being warned to expect major disruption on a key London to Scotland line.
And as temperatures are expected to remain high in the UK, Yorkshire’s tourist hotspots are expected to be kept busy, at a time when roadworks will be causing disruption on some of the region’s busiest routes.
The Highways Agency urged road users to plan ahead and check their vehicles before setting off, as more than 1,300 of the incidents on the region’s roads last summer were potentially preventable, with running out of fuel a major contributor.
It has also identified a number of “hot spots” that are likely to become busy as people make their getaway. They include the A1M from junction 50 to 51, around Dishforth and Leeming, and the M1 junction 40 to 44 around Wakefield and Leeds, where major roadworks included an overnight closure last night.
A Highways Agency spokesman said it planned work carefully around busy periods and it was “very conscious” that in many places this is a key weekend with the start of school holidays.
The regional control centre at Wakefield is ready to deploy patrols to quickly clear up incidents and keep holidaying families safely on the move, he added.
Traffic information company Inrix warned of heavy congestion today and on the Saturdays in August.
Yesterday there were holds-ups on the M18 in East Yorkshire due to an accident involving two lorries.
Although millions are heading abroad to favourites like Spain, Turkey and Greece, travel organisation Abta said the number booking last-minute breaks in the UK had been boosted by recent hot weather.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said the region offered “a world to see and explore on our doorstep”.
He said: “Yorkshire is currently riding on the crest of a wave, helped by the fact it’s been showcased on national and international TV screens looking its finest – a recent survey showed that a quarter of the UK’s population want to visit Yorkshire after our Grand Départ, which is some endorsement for any destination.”
Travellers in the south yesterday saw journeys disrupted by sudden storms, with lightning strikes disrupting services to and from London’s Waterloo station.
Yorkshire has escaped the majority of the planned rail disruption for the summer, with a key London to Scotland line bearing the brunt. The West Coast Main Line will close between Euston station and Watford in Hertfordshire on three separate occasions next month, affecting passengers from Scotland, the West Midlands and the North West.
CRUISES have topped a list of the most complained about holidays for the fourth year running.
Law firm Irwin Mitchell drew up a list of the five worst holiday hotspots based on the number of complaints it received from people who fell ill while on a trip trips last year.
Cruises accounted for almost 27 per cent of cases, with Turkey, Egypt, the Dominican Republic and Spain making up the worst offenders.
Bad hygiene and food standards are the cause of most complaints, with holidaymakers contracting “potentially fatal illnesses” like salmonella, E-coli and Cryptosporidium, said lawyer Suki Chhokar.