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Britons have been warned of long delays on their Easter getaways with more than 14 million journeys expected on the roads, airports prepared for a record number of passengers, and engineering works on key rail services.

The RAC warned that journeys on popular routes could take twice as long as usual, as the bank holiday weekend leads into a two-week holiday for many schools.

Trains are also set to be stopped as Network Rail carries out engineering works on the West Coast Main Line – which stretches from the capital to Scotland – between London Euston and Milton Keynes.

And at least three major airports have said that the coming days will be their busiest ever Easter weekend.

Bristol, Newcastle and Edinburgh have told The Independent they predict a record number of passengers from Good Friday to Easter Monday, with routes to Geneva tipped to be extremely busy.

Around two million Britons are expected to fly away over the holiday weekend, with Bristol predicting 30,000 holiday-goers on Easter Sunday alone.

Airports will stay busy over the school holidays, with Luton expecting to see around 38 passengers a minute on 5 April.

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On Sunday 7 April, Gatwick and Southampton are set to see their busiest days.

File pic: PA
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Around two million Britons are expected to fly away over the holiday weekend. File pic: PA

No ‘good time’ for rail works

The West Coast Main Line will be closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday, with disruption to rail services also expected in Glasgow and Huddersfield.

Laurence Bowman, Network Rail’s network strategy director, said earlier this week that there is “never a good time to do the work we need to do”, but explained that a lower number of commuters over the bank holiday weekend gives them “the opportunity to do major work we couldn’t do in a normal weekend”.

“We’ve got 493 different pieces of work taking place this Easter, most happening overnight,” he added, “including laying over 8,000 metres of new rail and putting down over 40,000 tonnes of new ballast to support the tracks.”

‘Carmageddon’

RAC spokesperson Alice Simpson warned it “could be carmageddon” over Easter and said heavy traffic and “lengthy queues can be expected along routes to the usual hotspots”.

Inrix transportation analyst Bob Pishue also said that “drivers should be prepared for longer journeys than normal throughout the entire weekend”.

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File pic: PA
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The West Coast Main Line will be closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday. File pic: PA

Worst day for driving

A survey commissioned by the RAC and Inrix found that 2.6 million journeys are planned on Good Friday, with around 2.3 million trips expected for both Easter Saturday and Sunday.

Another two million trips are expected on Thursday and Easter Monday, and a further 3.3 million journeys are due with no clear starting date, making for a total of around 14.5 million journeys.

Inrix predicted that the worst of the traffic is expected between 2pm and 7pm on Thursday when holiday journeys mix with regular commutes.

It added that the busiest route is set to be the western section of the M25 between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 for Hertfordshire where journeys from 4pm are tipped to take more than two hours, more than twice as long as usual.

The M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton, and the M3 between the M25 and the south coast are also likely to be congested, according to Inrix, with estimated journey times more than double what they normally are.

The survey, from research company Find Out Now, polled 2,136 UK adults.

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The RAC and Inrix say around 2.3 million trips expected for both Easter Saturday and Sunday. File pic: PA

A yellow weather warning for strong winds is also in effect on Thursday, with unsettled conditions from Storm Nelson likely to further disrupt travel.

The Met Office said the alert applies from 7am until 6pm on Thursday and extends in a band from locations such as St Ives and Penzance in the South West across to Brighton.

Sky News weather producer Christopher England also said: “It’ll stay mostly unsettled into next week, with further heavy showers or longer spells of rain, and 70mph gusts near Channel coasts, thanks to the Spanish-named Storm Nelson.”

More delays in Dover

Meanwhile, Britons taking ferries should be able to embark without much issue, with the exception of the Port of Dover where French border staff check passports before leaving the UK.

In a statement, the port pointed to France’s heightened terror alert after the attack in Moscow, saying: “These measures may increase border processing times at the port.

“Please be mindful of this when travelling to the port and check with your ferry operator for arrival times.”

Last year saw severe delays and long queues at the port with wait times stretching up to two hours.

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From 2023: ‘Severe’ delays for Easter travel

Around 20,000 cars are expected to travel through Dover’s port between Thursday and Easter. A Coach Processing Facility has been set up in the Western Docks for Thursday and Saturday in a bid to ease travel.

Coach passengers and motorists will be processed away from the main port, and then moved to the Eastern Port for a quick passport check, before embarking on their ferry journey.

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Five people arrested after police discover ‘human remains of young baby’ in Wigan

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Five people arrested after police discover 'human remains of young baby' in Wigan

Five people have been arrested after police discovered what they believe to be human remains of a young baby.

Officers said those detained, aged between 20-70, were held on suspicion of concealing a death and unlawful burial.

They have all been bailed pending further enquiries.

The investigation, prompted by welfare concerns, is focused on an address in Marsh Green, Wigan, and a location on Valley Road in Pemberton.

Chief Superintendent Clare Jenkins from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan district said: “This is a truly heartbreaking discovery, and I do not underestimate the impact that this news will have on the local community.”

An address in Marsh Green, Wigan
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An address in Marsh Green, Wigan

Addressing the local community, she said: “I would like to reassure you that we have several teams of officers and specialist resources working diligently to find answers.

“You will likely notice an increased presence of our officers throughout the next week, if you have any concerns or want to share any confidential information, please do not hesitate to speak to them.”

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She added: “In the coming days we will know more about the circumstances surrounding this incident, but we are confident that this is isolated, and there is no threat to the wider public.”

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Liz Truss was ‘ecstatic’ with mini-budget plan and claims Number 10 infested with fleas in new memoir

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Liz Truss was 'ecstatic' with mini-budget plan and claims Number 10 infested with fleas in new memoir

Liz Truss has revealed she considered abolishing the UK’s economic watchdog and replacing leaders at the Treasury and Bank of England, accusing the bodies of being “pro-China” and “pro-Remain”.

The country’s shortest serving prime minister said she discussed scrapping the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) with her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng but concluded it would have “amounted to a declaration of war on the economic establishment”.

In an extract from her memoir published by the Daily Mail, Ms Truss says the OBR, Treasury, and Bank of England “were more interested in balancing the books than growing the economy” and saw immigration “as a way of fixing the public finances”.

Defending her September 2022 mini-budget – which led to a surge in borrowing costs and saw the pound slump to a 37-year low against the dollar – the former prime minister said she would “accept that the communications around the mini-budget were not as good as they could have been”.

However, she said the afternoon after which Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng outlined the growth plan was “probably my happiest moment as prime minister” adding “I was ecstatic”.

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Truss’ time as PM

Mr Kwarteng was sacked three weeks later amid rising mortgage costs, before most measures in the statement were axed in an attempt to stabilise financial markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
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Kwasi Kwarteng was also sacked following the mini-budget. Pic: PA

The serialisation also includes behind-the-scenes details of domestic life as a senior government figure.

More on Liz Truss

While foreign secretary, Ms Truss says she was forced to share the grace-and-favour Chevening mansion in Kent with her predecessor Dominic Raab and would find “protein shakes labelled ‘Raab’ in the fridge”.

Anecdotes, complaints and lamentations – but a lack of self-awareness


Rob Powell Political reporter

Rob Powell

Political correspondent

@robpowellnews

Given Liz Truss is the shortest-serving prime minister in UK history and given she oversaw an economic meltdown and was forced to fire her own Chancellor and repeal most of her policy offering, the extracts of her memoirs are strikingly bereft of any self-criticism or self-awareness.

As the political blogger Sam Freeman has pointed, bits of the book feel like a ‘what I did on my holidays school essay’.

There’s amusing and eminently readable anecdotes about trying to get Ocado shops delivered to Downing Street, taking her children into the government nuclear bunker, and finding Dominic Raab’s protein shakes in the fridge at the foreign secretary’s country residence.

There’s also some complaining.

The former Prime Minister laments having to book her own hair and make up and says a lack of medical support meant her private secretary had to get her cough medicine in the middle of the night.

She says living in Downing Street was “intensely claustrophobic” and she was “effectively a prisoner”.

It’s an open question whether that stirs much sympathy with those who saw their mortgage rates soar during her chaotic 50 days in office.

Then there’s the now familiar defence of her economic strategy, which once again seems to consist of blaming everyone bar herself.

In four pages of text, I spotted just two flashes of introspection.

She acknowledges that the “communications around the mini-budget were not as good as they could have been”. But then neuters that mea culpa by adding: “But I have to ask: what would we have been waiting for?”

She also says the late Queen had told her to “pace yourself”, before adding “maybe I should have listened”.

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The Norfolk MP is also critical of the levels of personal support offered to UK prime ministers saying “despite now being one of the most photographed people in the country, I had to organise my own hair and make-up appointments”.

She described the prime ministerial flat above the Number 10 offices as infested with fleas that some claimed came from her predecessor Boris Johnson’s dog Dilyn.

Ms Truss also revealed she and her husband had ordered new furniture for the residence “but were evicted before it could be delivered”.

The death of the Queen is also described in the extracts, with Ms Truss saying the fact it happened on her second full day as prime minister left her in a “state of shock” and thinking “Why me? Why now?”.

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