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Brace for queues as the UK summer holiday getaway begins

Roads, airports and stations will be packed as the school holidays start.

Roads, ports and airports will be exceptionally busy this weekend as millions of people embark on a summer getaway.

Motorists are being warned to expect a “frantic Friday” with an estimated 3.8 million leisure trips taking place following the end of term at the majority of schools in England and Wales.

More than nine million people are expected to embark on getaway trips by car between Friday and Sunday, the RAC said.

The AA urged drivers to carry out maintenance checks on their vehicles and take basic supplies, with high temperatures putting extra strain on cooling systems and tyres.

The organisation’s president, Edmund King, said: “If your car breaks down your air conditioning might not work either, so make sure you have plenty of drinking water in the car, especially if you have young or elderly family members with you.”

Transport data firm Inrix warned that some routes, particularly those popular with holidaymakers, will experience lengthy delays compared with a normal Friday.

Those heading south on the M5 between Gloucester and Devon should expect hold-ups of about an hour and a quarter, while westbound journeys on the A303 between the M3 in Hampshire and A37 in Somerset could take an extra hour.

Some 2.5 million British holidaymakers will head overseas this weekend with Mediterranean hotspots proving popular, travel trade organisation Abta reported.

Spain is the most in demand location while bookings are up for trips to Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Airports in the South East are expecting a busy weekend with over half a million passengers departing from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 148,000 from Stansted and 88,000 from Luton.

Elsewhere, there will be 160,000 people flying from Manchester and 67,500 from Birmingham.

Although the Scottish schools are well into their summer holidays, close to 200,000 people will be leaving from Scottish airports this weekend with 104,000 from Glasgow and 70,000 from Edinburgh.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Many families will be flying out to guaranteed sunshine and the opportunity to experience and learn from different people and cultures.

“Popular destinations in the UK are also expected to welcome holidaymakers and enjoy the ongoing nice weather.”

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