Britain’s roads were heavily congested this morning as the impact of the biggest rail strike in a generation was felt.
While train stations across the country were eerily deserted in scenes reminiscent of the Covid lockdowns, motorways and A roads were clogged with cars.
National Highways England has issued over 50 traffic alerts this morning – 9 of which are severe.
Gridlocked roads include the the M54 eastbound, where drivers face being stuck for around 20 minutes, and the A38 northbound, where traffic is causing 30 minutes of delays.
There is also heavy traffic on the A19, A404 and M56.
Live maps show traffic is slow moving across the country, with congestion particularly bad in London.
Data from Google maps shows traffic on a typical today compared to today, with red lines indicating congestion and the roads you may wish to avoid.
Only a fifth of all trains are running today, half of lines are closed, and the network will be shut down at 6.30pm.
Much of Britain will have no passenger trains for the entire day at all, including most of Scotland and Wales, the whole of Cornwall and Dorset, and places such as Chester, Hull, Lincoln and Worcester.
In London. Tube services have also been suspended on the vast majority of lines following a mass walk out of staff.
The RAC had earlier warned that a surge in traffic would be ‘inevitable’ as more Brits use their cars to get from A to B.
Spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘Major city routes as well as those serving the home counties are likely to see some of the biggest increases in traffic volumes as, even if rail lines are still open, there will be significantly fewer trains running.’
Around 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted to strike amid a bitter dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Last-ditch talks failed to resolve the row, with all sides blaming each other for the lack of progress.
Train services on the days in between the strikes are also set to be affected – adding further uncertainty for commuters.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said ministers would change the law to minimise disruption from strikes by requiring a certain level of service to be run and enabling the use of agency workers.
He told Sky News: ‘We are going to ensure that the law is firmly on the passengers’ side.’