Urgent traffic warning as millions hit road for Christmas getaway with strikes sparking delays at six UK airports | The Sun

AN URGENT Amber Traffic warning is in place today as millions hit the nations roads to race home for Christmas.

A whopping 17 million Brits are expected to get in their cars from Friday, with the AA warning of huge delays.

Travel chaos sparked by multiple strikes have sent millions seeking alternative routes home, with the warning stretching to Christmas Eve.

And walkouts by 1,000 Border Force staff have already sparked chaos at six UK airports this morning.

Over 250,000 are set to arrive into Britain's terminals on Friday as they board flights out the country, but airport officials are warning they may struggle to cope.

London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff are already reporting delays in their terminals on Friday.

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Pictures show thousands in long queues at Manchester Airport bag drop as members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union begin an eight day walk out.

On Friday London Gatwick said travellers are being processed as normal.

Soldiers from Britain's Armed Forces – who are not allowed to strike – have been marched in to man passport checks.

But airports warn they could be forced to close altogether, a decision that will trigger misery for hundreds of thousands who already missed past Christmases due to Covid.

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Steve Dann, Border Force's chief operating officer, told the BBC the army and civil servants will "not be able to operate with the same efficiency as our permanent workforce".

There were no changes to flight schedules as of 7am on Friday.

The M25 and major routes linked to the London orbital are expected to see the worst traffic from today.

Interchanges connecting the M25 with the M3, M4, M1, M11, M20 and A1(M) are forecast to experience delays over the two-day period.

The M4/M5 interchange at Bristol is likely to experience heavy congestion throughout the period as well as the M5 at Exeter.

Delays are predicted to take place on the M6 Birmingham area and the M11/A14 junction north of Cambridge.

In the north, delays are expected to be felt in Cumbria on the M6 interchange with the A69, M62/M60 junctions around Manchester.

While the A64 between Leeds and York and the M8 surrounding Edinburgh are set to be hit by vast queues.

The AA is predicting traffic to build between 10.00 and 18.00 on Friday – Saturday traffic will peak between 10.00 and 16.00.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, urged Brits to spend 10 minutes checking their car before heading off – because breakdowns add to the traffic.

And he stressed it was vital for travellers to carry warm clothing, water and snacks in case drivers are faced with problems.

The port of Newhaven in East Sussex is also being affected by strikes.

The warnings came as Network Rail told travellers to travel by rail "only if absolutely necessary" on Christmas Eve.

Royal Mail, National Highways and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) employees are also taking industrial action on Friday.

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These workers will continue their strike into Saturday, when staff represented by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Abellio London bus workers and Environment Agency employees will also launch separate waves of action.

This follows two days of strikes by NHS staff, as thousands of nurses walked out on Tuesday, and ambulance workers joined picket lines on Wednesday.

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