Warning of ‘extremely busy’ Easter getaway for road and rail users

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Road and rail users are preparing for an ‘extremely busy’ Easter getaway in South Yorkshire this weekend.

Work taking place on the west Coast Mainline at Watford will close a main route into London Euston, resulting in customers who normally travel on this line using alternative routes.

Customers travelling between the North West and London will be routed via Sheffield between Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday.

A spokesman for First TransPennine Express said: “Throughout the Easter weekend services between Manchester and Sheffield are expected to be extremely busy.

“There are no planned timetable alterations on the South Trans-Pennine route, services between Manchester and Sheffield, Doncaster and Cleethorpes, during the Easter weekend period.”

The RAC said that as many as 16 million motorists were set to take to the roads over Easter.

It estimated that four million will be travelling on Good Friday and around 4.5 million will be on the road on Easter Sunday.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: “The first spring bank holiday of the year traditionally heralds the start of busier weekends on the nation’s roads,”.

He added: “This Easter is set to be a hectic one with 16 million of us getting behind the wheel for an Easter break, but at least we will benefit from the longer days and lighter evenings to complete our journeys.”

The Highways Agency, which becomes Highways England on April 1, said more than 550 miles of roadworks will be lifted over Easter on England’s motorways and major A roads.

The agency aims to complete or lift 209 sets of roadworks by Thursday, with the suspended works’ restrictions lifted from 6am on Thursday until the end of Easter Monday.

However, for safety reasons lane restrictions or temporary speed limits will need to remain at 69 locations.

This includes the 50mph limit on more than 20 miles of the M1 between Junctions 29 and 31 around Chesterfield and Sheffield as work continues to change the road into a ‘smart motorway’ with an extra running lane.

However, roadworks between Junctions 2 and 3 on the M18 near Doncaster will be lifted for the Easter Bank Holiday, as will work around the A61/A616 roundabout near Barnsley.

It is also intended the roadworks by Junction 5 of the M18 will be completed in time for the weekend, along with three roadwork schemes along the A1 close to Doncaster.