Congestion ahead as millions take a break

Congested M6
Congested M6
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Chaos is expected on road and rail on Friday as millions pack their bags and head off for the final bank holiday weekend of the summer.

The Great British Getaway is scheduled to be underway as early as mid-morning, with the AA predicting the situation to turn into a “mad scramble” by later in the day.

An estimated 13m drivers say they will be hitting the road, with Friday evening the busiest time of the whole weekend on the nation’s motorways.

But anyone hoping to let the train take the strain instead could find things just as bad on the rail network due to engineering works.

Major road troublespots are expected to include the M6 near Preston as travellers head for the Lake District and Blackpool. The M55 is also likely to be much busier than normal.

“August is a full-on bank holiday weekend, so it’s always a bit of a mad scramble on the roads,” said AA patrolman of the year, Max Holdstock. “The busiest times will be Friday evening and Monday afternoon, so try to allow extra time if you are travelling then.”

Highways England have lifted roadworks on 400 miles of motorway and major roads this weekend to help ease the flow.

But, while their workmen will be taking a break until Tuesday, the men who repair Britain’s rail network will be out in force, bringing delays for many train travellers.

Passengers heading from Blackpool to Manchester Airport will be among those affected, with the service terminating at Preston and travellers being switched to other trains. There will also be problems on services into Manchester city centre.