Hugh Grant queued for five hours during bank holiday chaos

  • Actor Hugh Grant, 63, got stuck in heavy traffic on the A3 near Tolworth today

The Bank Holiday outing has started with a number of motorists, including actor Hugh Grant, stuck in a ‘nearly stationary traffic jam’ for up to five hours.

This comes as Friday’s start of the long weekend coincided with the start of half term for many schools, with the RAC predicting more than 20 million leisure car journeys would be made from Friday to Monday.

That would be the highest number for the holiday weekend at the end of May since 2019.

Grant, 63, encountered heavy traffic on Friday afternoon as he tried to cross the A3 near Tolworth, Greater London.

At one point he said he was “stuck for four and a half hours so far and still not through.”

When trying to get some clarity on the delay on X, formerly Twitter, he previously asked Transport for London (TfL): ‘Any chance of an update on the situation on the A3 at Tolworth? Now entering the third hour of an almost standstill traffic jam. And there is still a long red line ahead of us. And no exits. Children in car.’

TfL responded: ‘For safety reasons, we have had to close two lanes of the A3 leading up to the Tolworth underpass for emergency repair work. Unfortunately, there are still serious delays. We are monitoring the situation and notice that traffic continues, however slowly. Our apologies for the delay.’

Traffic was queuing on the M25 in Kent, near the Dartford junction, earlier today
Bank Holiday traffic on the M4 motorway at Iver, Buckinghamshire earlier today
Actor Hugh Grant, 63, ran into heavy traffic as he tried to cross the A3 near Tolworth, Greater London, on Friday afternoon

During the traffic jam, motorist Musawir Idrees posted an emoji on X in which he expressed his annoyance with the words: ‘Stuck in traffic on the A3 for five hours. Road work.’

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Previously, National Highways had urged travellers, including those heading to the Chelsea Flower Show in London, to allow extra travel time as there had been around three miles of traffic jams.

They warned that lanes had been closed on the A3 northbound London road between the A244 junction at Esher and the A309 junction at Chessington to assist with TfL work on the Tolworth underpass.

An attempted theft of signal cables caused disruption to a key railway line earlier on Friday, as National Rail Inquiries said trains must run at reduced speeds between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton until damaged cables are repaired.

Meanwhile, a points outage also prevented trains from calling at stations between those locations.

The issues affected passengers traveling on Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, London Northwestern Railway, Transport for Wales and West Midlands Railway.

Many train services will also be affected this weekend as Network Rail carries out engineering projects.

Services on the West Coast Main Line will be reduced due to works around Crewe and Carlisle.

Queues of traffic on the M25 in Kent near the Dartford Crossing (anti-clockwise) earlier today
Traffic queued anti-clockwise for miles on the M25 earlier today, but the roads seemed clearer in the other direction

Trains will also be affected by track renewals between Carstairs and Lanark in Scotland, while there will be significant changes to services on the Great Eastern Main Line due to work on the construction of a new station at Beaulieu Park, east of Chelmsford.

Network Rail says it often carries out major engineering works during public holidays to reduce the number of passengers affected.

Aviation analytics firm Cirium said Friday looks set to be the busiest day of the year for UK airports since October 2019, with more than 3,150 flights departing.

A total of 8,486 flights are scheduled between Saturday and Monday, which equates to more than 1.5 million seats.

The most popular international destinations for flights to the United Kingdom are Dublin, Amsterdam, Palma, Alicante and Malaga.

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