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Holidaymakers face delays and travel chaos on ‘busiest travel day’ of the year

Millions of people will be hitting the roads, ferry ports, and airports for their summer breaks this weekend, with Saturday expected to be the busiest travel day of the year so far.

Around three million people are expected to fly over the weekend after most of England’s schools began their summer break, while 13 million will take to the road for a holiday closer to home.

But travel and transport companies have warned that an influx of passengers all over the country, along with heavy traffic, downpours, and rails strikes could lead to chaos.

The Port of Dover has said that it could also take up to two and a half hours to go through border checks at peak times. In an update on Saturday morning, it said: “15,901 passengers have already set sail for France from the Port of Dover today. Traffic is moving according to plan and the average border processing time is 90 mins.”

Wet weather could also lead to long queues on the roads, with the Met Office advising people to plan for their journeys.

Rail passengers should expect to see major disruption to their journeys, as RMT members walked out today in a long-standing dispute over pay, and closures to ticket offices.

At least 20,000 rail workers are taking part in strike action on Saturday 22 July and Saturday 29 July, as negotiations between the union and train companies remain at a deadlock.

Fourteen train companies making changes to their services, with Avanti West Coast; C2C, Chiltern Railways; CrossCountry; East Midlands Railway; GTR who operates Southern, Thameslink Great Northern and Gatwick Express; Great Western Railway; Greater Anglia; LNER; Northern Trains; Southeastern; South Western Railway; TransPennine Express; West Midlands Trains all affected.

The ASLEF union has also announced a week-long ban on overtime, which may lead to delays elsewhere.

Meanwhile, travellers making their way across the channel should expect delays of around 90 minutes, Port of Dover said on Saturday morning.

Around 14,716 people went through checks at around 9 am this morning, the company said, adding that traffic is moving “according to plan.”

In an effort to speed up waiting times, the Home Office announced that children aged 10 and over will be able to use eGates across 15 rail and airports.

Strikes at Gatwick and Heathrow have been called off, but airlines have said that flights could still be called off due to air traffic control strikes in Europe.

EasyJet cancelled 1,700 flights on Friday, with disruption likely to stretch from July through to September.

EasyJet has said that heatwaves, which have seen parts of the continent surpass temperatures of 45 degrees, were not stopping passengers from booking flights.

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