Is there going to be travel chaos across the UK on Easter Monday?

Roads were jammed on Monday as people headed home from their holidays. Credit: PA

Brits are being warned they face heavy traffic as many head home from their Easter holidays.

Travel by air, train or sea has all faced heavy disruption over the Easter period meaning people have poured onto the UK's road network caused traffic up and down the country.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned in advance that travel networks would be "extremely busy" during the bank holiday weekend, with roads expected to be jammed with people hoping to have a few days away.

Rail networks have faced heavy disruption due to planned engineering works, while hundreds of flights have been axed as airports are plagued with Covid cases and staff shortages.

Are your plans going to be disrupted?


Passengers are set to face significant disruption on the rail network this bank holiday, particularly in London.

Some 503 engineering projects are taking place across the network over the bank holiday weekend, leading to the cancellation of numerous trains.

No trains are being run on Easter weekend in or out of Euston due to the engineering works, which is also having an impact on trains to Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports.

The station is closed for essential railway improvements over the Easter bank holidays affecting travellers from the North West, with no trains running from April 15-18.

More than 7,000 workers, 10 engineering trains, and 10 cranes and excavators will lay over half a mile worth of new track with 5,000 tonnes of new railway stone being laid.

It is hoped it will improve future journeys on one of Europe's busiest routes for people and goods.

Network Rail strongly advised all passengers travelling between London Euston and Scotland to travel either side of the Easter weekend to avoid longer journeys on busier trains.

Euston will be closed over Easter weekend Credit: PA

Monday morning also brought “nightmare” queues for Eurostar customers at Gare Du Nord in Paris after a border control IT failure which meant passengers could not board trains.

One passenger, Charlie Daffern, 36, said all trains had been delayed for at least an hour.

He said: “It’s a nightmare here. We have been stood in the queue for check-in/security for over an hour and a half. Probably another hour to go.

“People are becoming very restless and some people panicking as they have flights to catch from Heathrow this afternoon. I take it all with a pinch of salt. The main problem is lack of communication.”

The London Underground is also being impacted by planned engineering works.

Holidaymakers were warned tube services to Heathrow Airport were closed for the entire four-day Easter weekend.

Gatwick Airport has also been impacted as during Network Rail re-signalling work, there will be no Southern rail or Gatwick Express services to or from Victoria.

On top of that, there will be no trains on the Hammersmith & City Line and parts of the District Line and Northern line will also be closed.

People should expect their trains to and around London to be busier than usual and double-check their train isn't cancelled before they set off.


The UK has been subject to serious air travel delays in recent days, especially at Manchester Airport. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled in recent weeks.

Passengers shared pictures on social media of lines stretching far away from check-in desks on Thursday morning, with one saying the situation was “utterly shambolic”.

Travel expert Simon Calder explains what holidaymakers are entitled to if their flight is cancelled

Travellers at Manchester have faced long delays and chaotic scenes, with queues trailing outside terminals to reach check-in and hordes of people waiting to get through security and to pick up luggage.

Piles of suitcases have been left in terminals after travellers abandoned the wait to reclaim their baggage and instead left for home.

The issue was so bad, the director of the airport resigned over it.

As the Easter getaway increased travel, similar problems hit other airports including Heathrow, Stansted and Birmingham.

Aviation data firm Cirium said 9,212 flights with 1.6 million seats are scheduled to depart from UK airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday.

The number of flights is 78% of the total for Easter 2019, before the coronavirus crisis affected travel.

The busiest day was Good Friday when 2,430 flights departed.

On Thursday, however, dozens of British Airways and EasyJet flights to and from Heathrow and Gatwick were cancelled.

easyJet staff absences are running at twice their normal level Credit: PA

On Wednesday, British Airways axed at least 53 flights planned for domestic or European routes to or from Heathrow, while easyJet cancelled 23 Gatwick flights.

The issues with air travel are mainly around staffing, with many airports unable to recruit new workers after making redundancies during the pandemic.

Many of the old staff have found new jobs and others are expecting higher wages.

Huge numbers of the staff that are working are also being forced to take time off after catching Covid. Coronavirus has also impacted staffing on the planes themselves.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Wednesday that he was "very concerned" by the staff shortages.

“I am very concerned that the operators – I’m talking about the airlines, the airports, the ports – do ensure that they get back to strength and quickly", he said.

“They lost a lot of people during the pandemic.

“We have been warning them for a long time that they would need to gear up again and I’m very keen to make sure that they do everything possible to manage what I realised will be and always is in fact, the Easter weekend – a very busy weekend on our transport system.”


Easter weekend will be the busiest on the UK's roads since records began, drivers are being warned.

It will be the first Easter unaffected by Covid restrictions in three years, and millions are planning a getaway.

Some 3.96 million drivers are predicted to make their journeys on Monday, causing delays on many major routes, the RAC warned.

Millions are expected to travel over the Easter period Credit: PA


Ferries across the UK have been disrupted by the P&O crisis, which saw the company sack 800 employees and replace them with low paid agency staff.

The uproar about the decision and the speed at which P&O changed its staff led to several of its ferries being compounded in port.

P&O services between Dover and Calais remain cancelled Credit: PA

P&O has resumed some of its sailings on its Larne to Cairnryan route, but its Dover-Calais sailings are still suspended.

A spokesperson said: “We apologise unreservedly to all customers whose scheduled journeys with us between Dover and Calais have been cancelled whilst we are unable to sail.

“It is only fair and right that we make alternative arrangements for those customers, which include transferring them on to our Hull-Europoort service to Rotterdam, or booking them on to services with Brittany Ferries between Portsmouth and Caen. ”

It said this would come at no extra cost for customers, with mileage expenses reimbursed and a 25% discount on the original fee.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has detained P&O boat Spirit of Britain after “a number of deficiencies” were identified.

Pride Of Kent has remained under detention since March 28.

This ongoing crisis has massively reduced capacity for lorries and tourists crossing the Channel, leading to delays on the roads approaching the Port of Dover.