Holiday booking 'surge' as people try to escape cold

It is estimated 17 million cars will take to UK roads over the Easter period. Credit: Andy Butterton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The big Easter getaway will start today as thousands of people leave Wales for the bank holiday weekend.

Travel operators are reporting a last minute surge in bookings as people try to escape the freezing conditions that have swept across Wales this month.

From today until Tuesday, a total of 600,000 people will leave from Heathrow airport, 214,000 from Gatwick, 110,000 from Manchester, 110,000 from Stansted and 55,000 from Luton.

Those travelling by rail over Easter will have to contend with a number of engineering works, including major work at Reading in Berkshire and also work on the West Coast main line in the West Midlands.

The busiest periods for travelling by road is expected this afternoon and tomorrow morning. The AA has predicted that 17 million cars will take to the roads in the UK over the holiday period/

Good news for ferry passengers travelling to France, a scheduled strike by French port control officers which could have meant major delays for people travelling has been called off.