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  1. ITV Report

Easter getaway begins in East of England

Easter traffic on A14 in Cambridgeshire Photo: PA Images

Today is expected to be the busiest day on Britain's roads so far this year as millions of people set off for their Easter break, a traffic information company has warned.

Trafficmaster predicts bank holiday getaway journeys mixed with commuter traffic today will lead to the heaviest congestion of the weekend.

As many as 16 million cars will be on the move over the holiday. Drivers have been urged to consider delaying their journey until the afternoon of Good Friday, when traffic is expected to be relatively quiet.

Delays expected on the roads

In the East of the region, motorists may see delays on the A11 near Thetford, with 40mph speed limits, on the A1 at Biggleswade due to ongoing roundabout improvements. Also on the *A120 *near Marks Tey where work on the bridge means lane closures, speed restrictions and temporary traffic lights.

In the west of the region, there are a few pressure points on the *M1 *at junction 10a near Luton, Junction 14 near Milton Keynes, 15 and 16 near Northampton, and Junction 19 near Catthorpe, with narrow lanes and speed restrictions in place.

On the A14, there is a chance of delays between junction 7 and 9 on the A14, near Kettering, work is ongoing to widen the M25 between junction 25 and 27 near Potter's Bar, and there are five miles of restrictions on the A45 near Wellingborough.

East Coast Main Line train pulling out of Peterborough Train Station Credit: PA Images

Delays expected on the trains

Greater Anglia has replacement buses between Colchester and Clacton on Sea and Walton on the Naze all weekend. There will also be replacement buses for C2C, between Basildon and Stanford -le-Hope and Benfleet.

An amended timetable is operating all weekend on East Coast routes to and from London Kings Cross, with some trains stopping at Stevenage or Peterborough.

First Capital Connect is running a very limited service to King's Cross, also buses replace trains between Bedford and Luton overnight on Saturday and Sunday.

And on East Midlands Trains, buses replace trains between Kettering and Bedford on Saturday and Sunday, with reduced timetables also in place.

Buses replace trains between Alexandra Palace and Stevenage via Hertford North, with some diversions on the route.

Overnight on Saturday and Sunday, engineering work between Bedford and Luton means replacement buses.

Stansted Airport Credit: PA Images

There are no delays expected at either Stansted or Luton Airport however it is expected to be an extremely busy weekend.

Stansted are expecting to deal with a quarter of a million (250,000 - 120,000 departures) passengers over the Easter weekend. Meanwhile, Luton airport say they will be dealing with 120,000 (60,000 departures) passengers.

A poll from VisitEngland showed that around 3.4 million Britons are set to take an Easter break in the UK involving at least one overnight stay, providing an £800 million boost for the UK economy.

Around 6.5 million Britons are planning day trips over the holiday period, with a further 9% undecided whether to have a break involving an overnight stay, the survey revealed.

"Easter is a fantastic time of year to spend a short break or day out with the family exploring the wonderful destinations in England.

"The industry has rallied following the severe weather earlier this year. It's business as usual for tourism with a full line-up of events and offers across the country, and destinations ready and waiting to welcome visitors this Easter break."

– James Berresford, Visit England chief executive