As millions of travellers set out on journeys during the bank holiday, cancellations and delays are anticipated as engineering works will affect rail lines serving the capital. It is worth noting that the number of Britons making overnight UK travel arrangements this holiday weekend has risen sharply by more than a third compared to last year. Approximately 6.9 million people are planning to go on break during the final longest weekend before the Christmas celebrations, up from the previous 5.1 million travellers as indicated by VisitEngland, the official tourist information centre in London, England.
Motoring organizations are looking forward to approximately 15 million drivers setting out on leisure trips over the long weekend while the congestion is expected to start building up beginning Friday lunchtime. The work that shall be conducted in preparation of HS2 means Euston station will remain closed thereby affecting services along the West Coast mainline all the way to Glasgow. Consequently, travellers will be advised to switch and opt for other routes in order to reach the East Coast line. According to Virgin Trains, the railway network will remain busy because of the major engineering works. Since the Edinburgh Festival shall be coming to an end, the rail line will even be busier. According to a spokesman from the company, services offered on either routes will be busy throughout the weekend. So unless it is really necessary, customers are advised against travelling on the West Coast route on Saturday or Sunday. However, customers who choose to carry on with their travel are advised to book tickets beforehand, make their seat reservations and expect to take slightly longer to reach their destinations.
The reconstruction of the London Waterloo platforms, which is the busiest rail station in the country will carry on over the holiday, although just 25% of the trains will be in operation on Friday. A spokeswoman from Network Rail apologized to the passengers for the disruptions and thanked them for exercising patience while reiterating that the efforts were meant to help deliver a bigger 21st century Waterloo Station.
The disruptions caused to the London commuters could potentially become more intense with the Southeaster trains operating on a reduced schedule and running without stopping at the Waterloo East, London Bridge, or Charing Cross stations. Queuing systems will be installed at the Victoria and Cannon Street stations the entire week to help with the handling of the diverted passengers.
Electrification work that will be executed on the main line of the Great Western between Bristol Parkway and Swindon will have an effect on the services between London Paddington and Wales for 4 weeks beginning Saturday.
National Express’ coach operator confirmed that it will add extra services during the weekend as passengers seek alternatives. A great surge in bookings has been witnessed on routes going out of the Euston and London Waterloo stations, meaning 1,000 or more additional seats will be made available on trains serving the Great Western.
According to a poll conducted by Network Rails, 77% of the British population have no plans to travel away from their homes over the long bank holiday weekend. Even though Network Rail will stay open, its 133M engineering works programme means passengers planning to travel should make inquiries beforehand.
Within London, bus controllers will go on strike, meaning there will be challenges on safety and disruptions that will affect the capital’s bus network during the weekend. However, the contingency plans in place mean the strike expected to last 48 hours will have minimal disruption to travellers.