South faces more travel disruption as travellers return from Easter getaways

The south of England is experiencing travel disruption on the roads with thousands returning from Easter getaways.

Across the UK, about 3.96 million drivers were predicted to make their journeys today, causing delays on many major routes, according to the RAC.

It comes after rail and air passengers saw long queues while P&O Dover-Calais ferries remained suspended over the weekend. They are due to resume sailings on Wednesday.

P&O vessels moored at Dover Credit: PA

DFDS is reminding passengers booked with P & O that their tickets will NOT be valid on their sailings today, as they are fully booked.

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

Passengers waited in long queues for Eurostar services in Paris

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

He told the PA news agency: “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.”

Loic Kreseski, 25, said “hundreds and hundreds” were in queues at the station.

Passengers queue at Heathrow Credit: PA

“I heard French border officers saying that they had never seen that. People are upset due to the delays and the fact that you have to stand still for hours. It’s very upsetting when we know the price of the tickets.

“I would say that easily more than a thousand people are queueing in Gare du Nord. (I am) frustrated especially when we know the price of the tickets, the lack of announcements and customer service.”

Travellers using the EuroTunnel Le Shuttle service have also reported “chaos” with long traffic queues.

Planned engineering works on the UK rail network are also likely to mean more delays for travellers.

Network Rail has been carrying out 530 engineering projects costing a total of £83 million, which have meant the closure of the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes for four days since Good Friday due to upgrades of the existing line and HS2 work.

Passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick airports have also contended with long queues.

The suspension of Dover-Calais sailings by P&O Ferries has led to a shortage of capacity on the key route and contributed to large queues of lorries on the roads approaching the Port of Dover in recent days.

To add further worry, supplies of petrol and diesel at filling stations in some areas of the country have been running at around half their usual level.