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Families all ready for Christmas getaway

Times: Rail passengers are advised to check timetables before travelling over Christmas

Times: Rail passengers are advised to check timetables before travelling over Christmas

The great Christmas getaway will continue in earnest today as thousands of Lancashire travellers hit the roads and crowd onto planes, trains and boats.

Many may have left at the weekend, but thousands more were expected to travel today.

But while roads are likely to be busy, experts predict traffic may not be as heavy as normal.

According to the AA, a staggered getaway will mean fewer jams than recent years, and a mid-week Christmas and New Year will mean many people will take a fortnight break.

The AA’s traffic information partner, Trafficmaster, believes the main getaway will be spread over several days from December 20 until Christmas Eve, which should help to ease traffic problems as many take a fortnight break.

They said the heaviest traffic could be expected on stretches of the M6 both ways between Junction 4 and Junction 11 and both ways between Junction 11A and Junction 21.

A weather warning is in place for the south of England and Wales, with strong winds and heavy rain expected today.

Road safety bosses at Lancashire County Council urged motorists to keep safe over the holiday getaway.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We know that many people will be making long and short journeys over Christmas to celebrate with family and friends, but it’s important to remember that this can be a time of stress and severe weather conditions can make driving more difficult.

“It is very easy for the festivities to take a toll on even the most careful driver, as we all rush around shopping, attending late night Christmas parties and visiting our friends and family.

“Driver tiredness is estimated to account for one fifth of crashes on major roads and is responsible for around 300 deaths per year.

“We’re asking motorists in Lancashire to plan ahead and think about the danger of losing focus when you are driving.”

On Virgin Trains, normal services were expected to run today, with the last service earlier than usual tomorrow.

There will be no trains running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and services will start later than normal on Friday morning.

Travel organisation Abta said the Christmas period would be busy for those flying abroad.

As well as the Canary Islands, other popular destinations include Tunisia, Morocco and the Cape Verde Islands off western Africa.

Abta said around 360,000 travellers would be flying from Stansted over the Christmas period, with around the same number leaving from Manchester, 175,000 from Luton and 100,000 from Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

 

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