Bank Holiday weekend: Londoners battle to leave capital amid huge tailbacks and rail chaos

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Londoners battling to leave the capital for Bank Holiday weekend celebrations faced chaos as motorways were jammed and hundreds of trains cancelled.

Frustrated drivers took to social media to lament long queues on the M1 and M25 motorways, while construction works at major train stations caused cancelletions to services on Friday.

Rail passengers were advised to stay at home unless for “absolutely essential journeys”, with services from London Waterloo cancelled for engineering works.

Some 6.9 million adults are planning a domestic break over the last long weekend before Christmas across the UK.

Pictures have emerged on social media of hundreds of people crammed onto the platform at Waterloo, while people have also reported waiting for hours in queues on the UK’s motorways.

Virgin Trains is one of the major rail providers to have issued an alert stating travellers should be wary that its services will be “very busy” over the August weekend.

Heavy disruption is expected to continue into the weekend.

No services will run from Euston on Saturday and Sunday, while Network Rail has warned against traveling between Scotland, the North-West, West Midlands and London.

A spokesman said: “Anyone planning to travel during August – particularly over the bank holiday– is advised to check their journeys.

“There will be significant changes to train services across the country, especially on lines to and from London, including the West Coast Mainline.

“Work at and on lines into Waterloo, London Bridge, Euston, Liverpool Street and Paddington will affect services to and from these stations.”

Drivers faced delays of over 90 minutes on the Dartford Crossing on Friday afternoon.

A further reduction in already stripped-back London Waterloo services began on Thursday as a major project at the station reaches its conclusion on Monday.

Fewer than half of normal weekday services will operate on Friday as platforms 1-14 are closed.

National Express, the UK’s largest coach operator, is putting on an extra 4,000 seats over the weekend to destinations affected by the Euston and Waterloo work.

There was also disruption on routes serving London Bridge, London Liverpool Street, Cardiff and Bristol.

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