Diamond Jubilee visitors flocking to London - but many due to escape too

11:40 30 May 2012

London is set for a huge population shift during the Diamond Jubilee weekend, with hundreds of thousands of people visiting and many set to flee the city.

Heathrow Airport expects to handle 2.9 million passengers in the next two weeks, with 780,000 overseas travellers due to arrive between today and bank holiday Tuesday.

UK travel organisation Abta has forecast as many six million Brits will be taking a holiday abroad or in the UK over the period June 2 to 5.

Abta said that around four million planned to holiday in the UK over the weekend, with two million going abroad.

The AA and traffic information company Trafficmaster said the main getaway was likely to be on Friday afternoon and on Saturday.

Transport company National Express said more than 30,000 people would be travelling to London on its coaches over the weekend.

The company added that the busiest departure points for trips to the capital were Bournemouth, Bristol and Birmingham.

Transport for London advised has motorists to avoid central London for all but essential journeys over the weekend.

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar has reported a 30 per cent surge in bookings over the Jubilee weekend.

This Friday is set to be Eurostar’s busiest day, with more than 30,000 passengers expected to travel between the UK and mainland Europe.

Sir Richard Branson’s airline Virgin Atlantic will be handling more than 20,000 holidaymakers on flights on Saturday.

Virgin said many had booked during the long, cold spell of weather that preceded the current heatwave.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said around 500,000 people were expected to travel to London by train to take part in the Jubilee celebrations.

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