Travel chaos: Holidaymakers face 'huge' queues on Eurostar and at UK airports

22 July 2022, 12:07 | Updated: 22 July 2022, 12:46

Passengers at St Pancras International and Britain's busiest airports have fallen victim to travel chaos
Passengers at St Pancras International and Britain's busiest airports have fallen victim to travel chaos. Picture: Provided/Twitter

By Seán Hickey

British holidaymakers were queueing in vast numbers with chaotic scenes at Heathrow, Manchester and Bristol Airports, and there were further long queues as passengers waited to board Eurostar trains.

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Staffing shortages across the transport network have led to massive queues affecting the holiday plans of thousands of Brits.

Travellers at St Pancras International have taken to social media to voice their anger at "huge" queues ruining their journeys across the Channel.

One social media user wrote: "There are significant delays [at the moment], recommend doing the trip outside of the Summer if you can."

Read more: Holiday getaway chaos with ‘critical incident’ as Dover blames French for six-hour queues

Another shed light on the congestion in St Pancras as would-be holidaymakers waited to get through customs: "I have literally never seen [S]t Pancras so busy. Every square inch. What's going on?"

Bloomberg UK have reported that some business travellers have begun travelling to continental Europe via Eurostar as airports struggle to get a hold of chaos seen throughout the Summer.

A spokesperson for Eurostar said:

"Earlier this morning, there were signalling issues in the Channel Tunnel which delayed some trains by 30-60 mins but that is now over.

"The station is busy, that is not unusual on a Friday, but queues are moving quickly through check-in."

Read more: 'Absolute nightmare': Half a million Brits set to miss holidays due to passport delays

Disgruntled Eurostar passengers were met with an unending queue on Friday morning
Disgruntled Eurostar passengers were met with an unending queue on Friday morning. Picture: Provided

Scenes coming out of Heathrow have shown countless holidaymakers trapped by queues in both departures and arrivals in one of Europe's biggest airports.

Read more: Heathrow tells airlines to stop selling tickets for summer travel

Read more: Summer rail shutdown: Train drivers back biggest industrial action 'in 25 years'

The airport's Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye just last week announced a passenger cap to limit the disruption seen in recent months, but passengers on Friday highlighted that problems with baggage and foot traffic continue to hamper travel plans.

Disgruntled passengers have blamed everything from Brexit to government mismanagement on the delays seen to date.

One social media user wrote: "Heathrow Terminal 3’s still not back to normal it seems. #brexitshambles #incompetentgovernment #lackofairportstaff"

Another said: "what a joke, chaos at passport control"

Passengers at Heathrow have suffered massive queues at arrivals
Passengers at Heathrow have suffered massive queues at arrivals. Picture: Twitter: @Seve296

Meanwhile, fuel price protests are set to cause disruption during what is expected to be the busiest summer getaway on the roads in at least eight years.

Avon and Somerset Police warned motorists that "slow-moving roadblocks" are planned on parts of the M4, M5, M32 and A38 on Friday morning.An image posted on Facebook group Fuel Price Stand Against Tax suggests demonstrations will be held "nationwide", including in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

Drivers were urged by Superintendent Tony Blatchford of Avon and Somerset Police to consider "alternative travel plans" due to the pump price protests.

He said: "Our protest liaison team has been engaging with the organiser so we can inform the public of the likely disruption and help to minimise it."

Nevertheless, drivers can expect journey times will likely be longer than normal, especially on motorways, which often tend to be at their busiest at this time of year.

"We advise motorists to consider any alternative travel plans available and ensure they are suitably prepared in case they are delayed."

With most schools in England and Wales breaking up for summer this week, the RAC said an estimated 18.8 million leisure trips are planned in the UK between Friday and Monday.

That is the most since the company began tracking summer getaway numbers in 2014.