Millions of families facing gridlock on roads TODAY

So you’re heading off on holiday and you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the M1 with no end in sight.

If only there was a really smart app that could have told you how to have avoided this all-too-familiar motorway nightmare.

Well, soon there will be. A £10million website is being developed which will automatically tell satnavs where roadworks are taking place to help drivers avoid congestion.

Street Manager will harvest data from water, electricity and gas companies, and local councils. It will also make it easier to know which roads will have temporary traffic lights.

A £10million website is being developed which will automatically tell satnavs where roadworks are taking place to help drivers avoid congestion

A £10million website is being developed which will automatically tell satnavs where roadworks are taking place to help drivers avoid congestion

A £10million website is being developed which will automatically tell satnavs where roadworks are taking place to help drivers avoid congestion

The site, expected to be up and running by next April, will contain details in advance of planned works. 

Transport officials said putting all the data in one place would help apps such as Waze and Google Maps provide up-to-date information.

Last night, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘Everyone has experienced the annoyance of travel that is disrupted by roadworks, but the systems we currently use to help companies communicate this aren’t fit for purpose and need changing.’

Utility companies may also be forced to dig up the pavement instead of the road to reduce impact on traffic.

There are around 2.5million roadworks under way in England each year. Current sources of information about works are often incomplete or out of date, critics say.

Traffic on the A14 near Cambridge on 'Frantic Friday' today as people begin summer getaways

Traffic on the A14 near Cambridge on 'Frantic Friday' today as people begin summer getaways

Traffic on the A14 near Cambridge on ‘Frantic Friday’ today as people begin summer getaways

Pictured: Traffic congestion on Friday evening as drivers endured queues of up to 90 minutes on some rou

Pictured: Traffic congestion on Friday evening as drivers endured queues of up to 90 minutes on some rou

Pictured: Traffic congestion on Friday evening as drivers endured queues of up to 90 minutes on some routes

The Department of Transport Street Manager initiative can’t come soon enough. Families rushing off for the school holidays today face gridlock on roads, chaos at the busiest airports on record, and tortuous rail journeys. 

From today, large sections of Britain’s biggest intercity line will be out of action for 16 days.

And a key section south of Warrington on the West Coast main line, which connects London with Glasgow and Edinburgh, will shut until August 4 while engineering works take place.

Passengers will have to endure diverted routes, change to different trains or take bus replacements. 

Traffic queues on the A14 near Cambridge today as millions of people take to the roads

Traffic queues on the A14 near Cambridge today as millions of people take to the roads

Traffic queues on the A14 near Cambridge today as millions of people take to the roads

Highways England road schemes are cancelled 

More than one in three major road projects included in an investment strategy have been scrapped or delayed.

Highways England, the government-owned company responsible for motorways and major A-roads in England, was due to begin 112 schemes between 2015 and 2020.

But its 2019/20 delivery plan published yesterday revealed that ten of the projects have either been cancelled, are under review or paused.

These include:

  • The M53 junctions 5-11 in the North West
  • The A27 Chichester bypass in the South East
  • The A14 junction 10a in the Midlands.

A further 29 have been delayed until the second five-year road investment strategy, which means they could be as late as 2025. 

That means 35% of schemes are not happening as scheduled.

It was claimed the £15 billion road investment strategy would ‘revolutionise the network’ when it was launched by the coalition government in 2014.

A spokesman for Highways England said: ‘In total, we are progressing over 90 per cent of schemes proposed in the original road investment programme in 2015.

‘It was always presumed that there would be change to the first road investment programme, particularly with the large number of schemes that were at the very early stages of design.’ 

Those affected include travellers heading north on staycations in the Lake District, Glasgow and Blackpool.

Northbound services between London Euston and Glasgow via Birmingham will terminate at Crewe, while those travelling south will terminate at Preston.

Passengers travelling to or from Birmingham have been advised to take a rail replacement bus service between Preston and Crewe. 

The RAC warned of delays between 15 minutes to an hour over the weekend on major routes such as the M6 and M1 northbound.

Thirteen million cars will hit the roads today as five million families battled regular commuters to get a head start on their summer holidays as schools broke up for summer

Thirteen million cars will hit the roads today as five million families battled regular commuters to get a head start on their summer holidays as schools broke up for summer

Thirteen million cars will hit the roads today as five million families battled regular commuters to get a head start on their summer holidays as schools broke up for summer 

Meanwhile, air-traffic controllers are preparing for the busiest summer on record. They have already seen the busiest day on record with 8,863 flights handled on July 5.

Today, controllers expect 8,800 flights in and out of UK airports,

As well as longer queues at airports, flights are more likely to be delayed in the peak summer months when airspace is more crowded.

Holidaymakers using Heathrow will be hoping to avoid a repeat of Thursday’s mayhem, when thousands of BA passengers endured delays of up to two hours after the baggage system broke down. 

Problems on the trains across UK this weekend

  • Buses replace late night / early morning Thameslink trains between Haywards Heath and Brighton on Friday and Saturday 
  • Amended services to / from London Liverpool Street this weekend
  • Buses replace trains between Bedford and Luton from 11:45pm Saturday until 9am on Sunday  
  • Amended Caledonian Sleeper services until August 4 
  • Amended evening / morning trains between Newport and Cardiff Central on Saturday and Sunday 
  • Buses replace trains between Marlow and Maidenhead after 11pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday  
  • Revised late evening service between Reading and Didcot Parkway on Saturday and Sunday 
  • No London Overground services to / from London Liverpool Street on Saturday and Sunday 
  • Amended trains at Burnham, Taplow and Maidenhead from 10.30pm Saturday and all day Sunday 
  • Buses replace trains between Barnes and Feltham / Twickenham via Brentford on Saturday and Sunday 
  • Major improvement work in the Warrington Bank Quay area from Saturday until August 4 
  • Buses replace trains between Cleethorpes and Barton-on-Humber from 4.55pm on Saturday and all day Sunday  
  • Reduced TfL Rail service between London Liverpool Street and Stratford on Saturday and Sunday  
  • Amended c2c trains in Essex on Saturday and Sunday 
  • Circle line: No service 
  • District line: No service between High Street Kensington and Edgware Road, and between Earl’s Court and Kensington (Olympia)
  • Hammersmith & City line: No service between Moorgate and Hammersmith
  • Metropolitan line: No service between Aldgate and Wembley Park.
BEAT THE QUEUES: AN AT-A-GLANCE GUIDE TO THIS WEEKEND’S TRAVEL
Date Leisure trips by car Major roads likely to be very busy between Major roads likely to be less busy between Expected longest delays on major roads
Frantic Friday 5.3m Between 11am and 6.45pm After 8pm M1 south J16 to J6: 89-minute delay from 7.45am with an average traffic speed of 20mph. M25 anticlockwise J4 to J1: 54-minute delay from 2.45pm with an average traffic speed of 7mph
Saturday 5m Between 11am and 2pm Before 9.30am or after 4.30pm M20 west J7 to J3: 19-minute delay from 9.30am with an average traffic speed 18mph. A30 west Pathfinder Village to Whiddon Down: 15-minute delay from 2.45pm with an average traffic speed of 24mph
Sunday 3.1m Between 1pm and 3pm Before 11am or after 8pm M1 north J12 to J16: 40-minute delay from 1.30pm with an average traffic speed of 24mph. M25 anticlockwise J4 to J1: 35-minute delay from 7pm with an average traffic speed of 13mph
Monday 2.8m Between 11.30am and 6pm After 7pm M6 north J5 to J10a: 37-minute delay from 12.30pm with an average traffic speed of 17mph. M25 anticlockwise J17 to J12: 37-minute delay with an average traffic speed of 18mph

Thousands of holidaymakers have plans thrown into doubt by Ryanair strikes

Tens of thousands of Ryanair passengers had their holiday plans thrown into doubt last night after its pilots threatened to go on strike.

A trade union representing the budget airline’s pilots said its members will soon vote on whether to walk out following a row over pay and working conditions.

The ballot will open on July 24 and close on August 7 when the results will be announced. Unions are legally obliged to give two weeks’ notice if they intend to launch industrial action. 

This means the strike could go ahead as early as August 21, when the summer holiday season is still in full swing. The protest is being led by the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which also represents around 3,800 British Airways pilots threating to strike over pay in a separate dispute.

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