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Travellers set for light snow and heavy traffic over Easter weekend

The Met Office has warned that there could be significant snowfall, while the AA predicts the busiest Easter in years on the roads.


Traffic will be heavy over Easter (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Traffic will be heavy over Easter (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Traffic will be heavy over Easter (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The Easter weekend is expected to be one of the busiest in years for travellers, with millions of Britons heading abroad as snow is forecast in parts of the country.

As temperatures fall in the UK, the mercury will hit 20C (68F) in the most popular destination Malaga, 22C (71.6F) in Tenerife and 28C (82.4F) in Marrakesh.

Back home, forecasters are predicting a wet and windy Easter weekend and then a snow dump on Easter Monday.


(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

Press Association Images

(PA Graphics)

“The heavy rain coming from the south will meet the cold air coming from the north and there could be significant snowfall in the Midlands, Wales and the north of England,” said Martin Bowles, from the Met Office.

“This is most likely to be on high ground, but Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Nottingham could all be affected.”

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) has estimated that 2.1 million British holidaymakers will jet out of the country for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Ports, train stations, roads and airports in the UK are also expected to be extremely busy.

For those who are travelling across Britain, warnings have been issued that there will be major disruption on train services and heavy traffic on the roads, with the AA saying: “This bank holiday weekend is likely to be one of the busiest on the roads in recent years.”

The RAC said drivers will take nearly 19 million separate leisure journeys over Easter, with the peak traffic coming on Thursday, as bank holiday traffic and commuters meet on the motorways.

Easter traffic hot spots are set to include the M25 between Gatwick Airport and the M1, the M3 south west of London, the A303 near Stonehenge, the M55 between Preston and Blackpool, and the M53 between Liverpool and Chester, according to the RAC.

Highways England said it is helping people travelling to seaside locations, ports and airports by removing some 300 miles of roadworks.

The organisation said this means around 99% of motorways and major A-roads will be roadworks-free in time for Easter.

At the major airports, half a million people will fly out from Heathrow, 260,000 from Gatwick and 160,000 from Manchester.

The Eurostar service from St Pancras will take 70,000 passengers under the Channel and into mainland Europe this weekend, with many headed to the French capital Paris.

On the domestic rail network, travellers have been urged to check ahead for engineering works.

There are going to be 400 sets of rail works taking place over the Easter weekend as well as a strike on South Western Railway services between Friday and Sunday.

Bristol Temple Meads and Manchester Victoria stations will be closed over the bank holiday period.

Thursday’s rain will spread into Friday, with temperatures in the north between 5C and 7C (41F-44.6F) and the south a little warmer at 8C or 9C (46.4F-48.2F)

Saturday will turn drier, brighter and colder with a brisk north-easterly wind, paving the way for a “widespread frost” on Easter Sunday for much of the country and the potential of lows of minus 5C in parts of Scotland.

For most of the country the day will be cloudy, punctuated by some sunshine and showers, before more rain moves in from the south on Monday morning, bringing the potential of further snow to the northern hills.

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