May Bank holiday travellers face disruption on trains, roads and flights

It will be busiest May bank holiday on the roads since 2016

Cathy Adams
Friday 03 May 2019 16:28
Simon Calder: Bank holiday rail chaos set to plague London's Euston

This May bank holiday weekend is set to be a disruptive one for motorists, rail and air passengers.

The RAC is predicting the busiest May bank holiday on the roads since 2016.

Meanwhile, key London stations are shutting this weekend for engineering work.

There is also an ongoing security staff strike at Luton Airport.


After the four-day Easter shutdown of the UK’s fifth-busiest railway station, train travellers will find London Euston closed once again over the coming bank holiday weekend.

On 4, 5 and 6 May, no long-distance trains will run to and from Birmingham, Manchester, North Wales and Scotland on the West Coast main line. In addition, several other projects on the rail spine are taking place.

The operator, Virgin Trains, is warning passengers: “We highly recommend that you avoid travelling on these dates unless you absolutely have to. “If you do choose to travel then, make sure you plan carefully and give yourself more time to get to where you need to be.”

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 08:18

Today is predicted to be the busiest day of the bank holiday for motorists, according to the RAC.

More than four million separate leisure journeys will be taken by car today, predicts the RAC, which is more than 1.5 million than the same day last year.

Thirteen million leisure trips are expected to be taken by car this weekend, which marks the busiest May bank holiday on the roads for three years.

Tomorrow, 3.4 million journeys will be taken by car, up 900,000 on last year; and on Monday, there will be 3.1 million journeys, up 1.2m on 2018.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 08:27

Airline passengers arriving at Gatwick and heading for London face delays due to a fault with the signalling system between the airport and East Croydon.

The London bound line is disrupted, with some trains delayed by over 15 minutes.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 08:37

The West Coast main line through Watford Junction is disrupted by an earlier points failure.

Virgin Trains and London Northwestern services running through this station are returning to normal, however delays may still occur.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 08:38

There are delays between Reading and Basingstoke due to animals on the railway line.

Trains have been delayed by up to 30 minutes, or cancelled. The line has now reopened.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:03

Eurocontrol is warning of delays at Gatwick and Heathrow airports this morning.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:05

Luton airport security staff are striking this weekend, over "heavy-handed" changes to shift patterns.

The airport has said that contingency plans are in place.

Read more about the strikes here: 

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:07

If you're driving somewhere this bank holiday, the RAC has advised the best times to make your journey.

Today, the roads will be busiest between 4-7pm.

On Saturday and Sunday, the RAC advises making journeys before 10am and after 3pm.

On Monday, motorists should leave before 12pm or after 4pm to make their journey home.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:11

From The Independent's travel correspondent Simon Calder:

Some British Airways arrivals at Heathrow are running well behind schedule this morning: the overnight arrivals from Miami and Houston are an hour late, while the morning flights from Milan Linate and Doha are four and eight hours late respectively.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:29

There are road closures in Yorkshire this weekend as the Tour de Yorkshire gets underway.

For each stage of the race, which finishes in Leeds on 5 May, there will be "rolling closures", where roads will be closed around half an hour before the first cyclist comes through.

On Sunday, all city centre roads in Leeds will be closed.

Spectators can find the full timings here.

Cathy Adams3 May 2019 09:50

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