Easter travellers delayed by heavy traffic and poor weather

Lines of vehicles queueing to enter the port of Dover
Passengers queue for ferries at the port of Dover amid stormy weather [PA Media]

Rough weather has caused delays for travellers using ferries at Dover for their Easter getaway

There were reports of long queues at Dover by Friday evening as vehicles faced an hour's wait to be processed.

Stormy weather that contributed to delays on Thursday has eased, but dozens of flood warnings and alerts remain in place in England.

Holidaymakers on their way to Devon and Cornwall have endured lengthy motorway queues.

Some 11 million people in the UK have planned a trip this Easter, according to the tourist board Visit England.

A survey by motoring company RAC and transport analysis company Inrix suggests 14 million trips by road could be made across the weekend.

Drivers travelling to Devon and Cornwall to enjoy slightly better weather experienced "pretty horrendous" queues, RAC spokesman Simon Williams told the PA news agency.

Heavy queues were also seen on the M6 towards the Lake District, although these had eased by Friday evening.

A weather system dubbed Storm Nelson by Spanish forecasters brought wet and windy conditions to Northern Ireland and the south of England on Thursday, with several rail operators and airports reporting disruption.

Conditions improved on Good Friday and are expected to be better for the rest of the Easter weekend, according to BBC Weather presenter Chris Fawkes.

A ferry in rough seas off Dover
Ferries arriving at Dover had to contend with rough seas on Thursday [PA Media]

Rail, air and sea

At Dover, there were reports of long queues of vehicles waiting to board ferries throughout the day.

The typical waiting time extended to two hours by Friday lunchtime, according to officials.

By Friday evening, the border processing time for tourists had dropped to about an hour.

Strong winds over the Channel initially caused delays to all DFDS ferries, although the operator reported all services as running on time later in the day.

French authorities at Dover have stepped up border checks after the country's terror threat level was raised in the aftermath of the Moscow concert hall attack.

Eurotunnel told the BBC it was putting on extra shuttles and staff to cope with high demand.

A car driving on a snowy road
Some parts of southern England and Wales saw snow on Thursday but the outlook for the Easter Weekend is brighter for most [PA Media]

Airports and airlines expect "record-breaking" passenger numbers for this time of year as holidaymakers jet off abroad.

Manchester Airport said it was preparing for about 320,000 passengers this weekend - eight per cent more than the equivalent last year.

Glasgow Airport said it would have extra staff in place during "three exceptionally busy weekends ahead".

Planned engineering works could cause disruption for some rail passengers, including at London Euston - one of the UK's busiest railway stations - which will be largely closed until Easter Monday.

Trains between London and East Anglia, and services to and from the capital via the West Coast Main Line are expected to be affected by works, Network Rail warned.

There are no weather warnings in place but 21 flood warnings and 144 flood alerts have been issued in England by the Environment Agency.

A further two flood alerts are in place in Wales, according to Natural Resources Wales.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, some showers are expected but are unlikely to be as widespread.

Met Office meteorologist Dan Harris said most could expect a "fairly typical mix of spring-like weather"- however, more persistent rain could return to England and Wales on Monday.

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