1. ITV Report

Easter getaway in full flow across the Midlands

Easter traffic on the M6 in Birmingham Photo: ITV News Central

As the Easter weekend approaches, the next few days are expected to be the busiest in the UK so far this year, as people the length and breadth of the country set off for an Easter break.

Traffic information company 'Trafficmaster' is predicting that bank holiday getaway journeys mixed with heavy commuter traffic will lead to some of the heaviest congestion figures this year.

Among usual hotspots in the West Midlands are the M6 and the M5 southbound, whilst in the M1 is set to be busy in the East, with the Highways Agency set to clear the majority of roadworks to help ease congestion.

With as many as 16 million cars on the roads over the holiday, traffic levels are not expected to drop for the whole of today, with roads at their busiest between 10am and 3pm on Good Friday and again from 10am to 4pm on bank Easter Monday as people return.

Delays expected on the roads:

In the East of the region, motorists may see delays on the M1 between Junction's 14 and 16 at Northampton, with 50mph speed restrictions in place. Also on the A38 near Derby where there are 30mph restrictions due to roundabout improvements and the A453 near Nottingham, where the carriageway is being widened.

In the West of the region, there are delays expected on the M1 near Junction 19 at Catthorpe where there is a 50mph limit. Elsewhere, there is the same restriction on the M54 near Wolverhampton, whilst there are 40mph limits on the A45 and A46 near Coventry due to roadworks. Also in the West, the M6 Junction 10 near Cannock is expected to be slow due to 20 miles of roadworks and the M5 Junction 4a through to 6 near Birmingham is undergoing drainage works.

East Midlands Trains are expected to be busy this weekend Credit: PA

Delays expected on trains:

On East Midlands Trains, a replacement bus service is in place for trains between Leicester, Kettering and Bedford on Saturday, with reduced timetables also in place.

There are also expected to be amended timetables for Network Rail services in the West Midlands.

Birmingham Airport is expected to cater for a high volume of travellers this weekend Credit: ITV News Central

Midlands airports expecting high volume of visitors:

Birmingham Airport says the number of people passing through its doors over the two-week holiday period is up by more than 11% compared to last year.

Justine Howl, a spokesperson for the airport, told us how 100,000 people are expected to travel through between Friday and Monday:

East Midlands Airport says it is also expecting to be see an increase in the volume of holiday-makers, with more than 45,000 passengers set to pass through the airport over the Easter weekend.

The bigger picture:

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.

Chief Executive for VisitEngland, James Berresford, said:

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.