Holiday weekends boost Eurostar

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The Independent Travel

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar today reported a surge in Easter and royal wedding weekend passengers.

The firm will be carrying 8% more passengers from the UK to Europe this Easter than it did last Easter, it was announced today.

And inbound bookings are also going well for the royal wedding next week.

Eurostar commercial director Nick Mercer said: "We're expecting this to be our busiest Easter weekend for years.

"At the same time we're equally seeing a surge in bookings to London for the royal wedding weekend."

Travel website said Easter weekend bookings were 70% up on the same weekend last year.

It said the Spanish island of Majorca was the top Easter destination for Britons, with the Canary Islands, the Portuguese Algarve and Egypt also popular. product director Matt Hall said: "Many holidaymakers are planning to watch the royal wedding from their holiday while others are hoping to escape from the wedding fever."

The AA warned that drivers should be aware of just which parking controls are in operation on bank holidays.

AA public affairs head Paul Watters said: "There is a mistaken belief that all parking restrictions are lifted over a bank holiday. Variations in enforcement and level of signing between local authorities can turn parking into a nightmare.

"The AA asks councils to operate enforcement with reasonable discretion, particularly if the visitor is clearly from outside the area - after all, one assumes a council would like them to come back next year and support local business."

A survey by motorway service operator Roadchef revealed today that 54% of drivers admitted getting sleepy at the wheel, relying on caffeine, fresh air, loud music and conversation to keep them alert.

Yet only 18% said they would stop for a nap in a bid to combat their exhaustion.

The poll of 1,000 drivers also showed that men were more careless than women in allowing tiredness to take over at the wheel.

Of those travelling by car this weekend, around a quarter are likely to have an argument, with people from Northern Ireland having the most rows, the survey found.

It also showed that those taking to the road are likely to make trips of around 170 miles over Easter, with the majority visiting family and friends.

National Express said its busiest day for coach travel over the period of the two bank holidays was Easter Monday.

On the day of the royal wedding, the company is providing London-bound coaches from 67 towns and cities, with Southampton, Stansted Airport in Essex, and Bournemouth the most-popular starting points for journeys.

National Express is also laying on coaches to Camp Royale, a tent site for royal wedding watchers on Clapham Common in south London, which will operate from April 28 until May 1.