Thousands to make Christmas getaway from London as big day nears

08:26 20 December 2012

Heathrow Airport is expecting more than 100,000 departures. File picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Heathrow Airport is expecting more than 100,000 departures. File picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Thousands of people are expected to take to the air, rail and road tomorrow during the great Christmas getaway.

Heathrow Airport is expecting its busiest day of the festive period tomorrow, with 123,000 passengers departing from the west London airport.

It will handle a further 114,000 departures on Sunday and an expected 88,000 on Christmas Eve.

People getting into their cars to escape the capital have been given something of a boost as, on the roads, the Highways Agency said more than 250 miles of roadworks will have been completed before Christmas.

However, those using public transport may run into a few difficulties.

Apart from a Tube strike, carried out by members of the Aslef union, the main train problem is likely to be engineering work on the West Coast line.

This will mean there will be no direct services from Euston station to Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool or Glasgow on December 23 and 24.

Hourly services will run from Euston via an alternative route (Chilterns) to Nuneaton where passengers will be able to change for services heading to any and all those destinations.

Direct services resume on December 27 but with two of the four lines closed up to and including New Year’s Eve.

There is engineering work also affecting a number of other lines, although Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies have said that the number of replacement buses having to be laid on has almost halved compared with the 2011/12 festive period.

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