Travellers hope for an easier summer getaway on Sunday
Written by First Choice Radio on 23 July 2023
Holidaymakers will be hoping to avoid fresh travel misery on Sunday as they try to get away for their summer holidays.
Queues of traffic and rail strikes hampered travellers on Saturday who set off on trips after many schools across England broke up for the summer holidays.
Saturday started with departing passengers being warned it could take 90 minutes to pass through border checks at the Port of Dover, but by 10.35pm a P&O Ferries update said there were currently “small queues” to contend with.
Officials had said the traffic was moving “according to plan” at the English Channel port in Kent, with more than 31,000 passengers setting sail for France by early evening.
It came after a day of misery on the railways where a walkout by thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at 14 train companies disrupted services and left some areas having no trains all day.
Their dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions has been going on for more than a year now.
The operators are all based in England but some run services into Wales and Scotland.
An overtime ban by the drivers’ union Aslef also hit services on Saturday.
Gatwick Airport had told passengers that their journey there could still be affected by the strike as there would be a “late start-up” on Sunday.
It advised travellers: “This weekend, industrial rail action may impact your journey to the airport. There will be a reduced train service & we expect our car parks to be busier. Please plan your trip in advance and check our website for alternative travel options.”
The RAC said it would be a “busy weekend on the roads” with an estimated 3.1 million leisure trips expected on Saturday and 2.5 million on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the start of the summer break will leave the UK to cope with bursts of heavy rain, forecasters said.
The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain for all of Sunday covering Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, North East England, North West England and Wales, saying that heavy downpours could cause disruption.
The Met Office said: “Periods of rain, heavy at times, will occur across northern England and parts of North Wales during Sunday, bringing fairly widespread 20-30mm of rain with a few places, mainly over high ground, perhaps seeing 50-70mm.
“Following a wet Saturday, some impacts are possible to travel and outdoor events, before the rain gradually eases and starts to clear southwards during Sunday night.”
In an effort to help families travel more easily, children aged 10 and over will be able to enter the UK using eGates across 15 air and rail ports from Monday, the Home Office said.
With passenger volumes expected to return to 2019 levels this summer, and some ports exceeding those volumes, Border Force expects to see more than 34 million air arrivals coming through UK passport control over the coming months.
More than 400,000 children aged 10 and 11 are projected to use eGates this year.
Published: by Radio NewsHub