Holidaymakers face more road chaos as motorway pile-up leaves 24 people injured

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Twenty-four people were injured in a pile-up in fog on a motorway yesterday as the Easter travel rush caused further chaos on the roads.

Twenty-four people were injured in a pile-up in fog on a motorway yesterday as the Easter travel rush caused further chaos on the roads.

Thirty vehicles were involved in the accident on the northbound carriageway of the A1(M) near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

A 16-mile tailback built up as the northbound carriageway remained closed for more than 10 hours after the accident.

A caravan overturned shortly after 6.19am near junction 48 and cars and lorries ploughed into the wreckage. Firefighters rescued a number of people from their vehicles, some of whom were seriously hurt.

The AA Roadwatch spokesman Paul Scott said there had been slight delays on roads around the country, but by this afternoon most road networks were running smoothly.

He added that many people appeared to be heading inland instead of making the usual dash for the seaside.

"Last year the countryside was out of bounds because of foot-and-mouth, but traffic is well dispersed throughout this year. Many will also be heading for amusement parks and the like," he said.

On Thursday, four people were killed in a series of road accidents that left tens of thousands of motorists stuck in traffic jams.

Two people died in a pile-up involving more than 100 vehicles on the M40 in Oxfordshire, which caused tailbacks involving more than 20,000 vehicles.

Shortly afterwards, there were two more deaths in an accident on the M5 in Somerset, resulting in 20-mile traffic jams and 12-hour delays.

Police yesterday named the two motorists who died because of the M5 accident, when an articulated lorry travelling southbound collided with a camper van parked on the hard shoulder and crashed through the central reservation.

The lorry then collided with another lorry and two cars – a Nissan Primera and a Nissan Micra. The driver of the Primera, 44-year-old Nigel Booth, a minister from Dover in Kent, died at the scene. His wife, who was in the passenger seat, was freed from the vehicle and taken to hospital, where her condition was described as serious but stable.

The driver of the Micra, who died in hospital shortly after the accident, was named as 48-year-old Sally Hawes from Penzance in Cornwall.

In a blow to travellers seeking to cross the county border at Plymouth, Railtrack said yesterday it was closing the only line to Cornwall over the Easter holiday.

The Royal Albert Bridge over the river Tamar will be shut from lunchtime today until lunchtime on Easter Monday.

Meanwhile more than 1.75 million British holidaymakers were heading abroad, with the Canary Islands, mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands (which include Majorca and Ibiza) and Portugal the most popular short-haul destinations.

Orlando in Florida remained the number one long-haul holiday destination.

Heathrow Airport expected 800,000 passengers to pass through by Easter Monday and had its busiest day of the break yesterday, handling 195,000 travellers.

The most popular destinations for Heathrow passengers this Easter were New York, followed by Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin.

About 80,000 passengers were leaving from Manchester Airport over the weekend, with 66,000 departing from Luton Airport in Bedfordshire and 35,000 from Birmingham Airport.