Members of the RMT union plan to walk out from 5pm on Bank Holiday Monday (May 25) in a dispute over jobs and pay – and the move is expected to have an impact on roads as more people take to their cars in place of using trains.
The Network Rail strike – expected to be the first UK-wide rail strike in 20 years – is also likely to impact on traffic and travel on Tuesday (May 26) as many commuters return to work after having a day off.
Temperatures are not expected to soar during the long weekend but could reach highs of 16 degrees C – so motorists should ensure they carry bottles of water with them for long journeys, say Bedfordshire Police.
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It may also be a good idea to take some food to eat in the event of being stuck on the road in traffic jams for a long time.
Bedfordshire residents are asked to consider car-sharing, working from home and postponing meetings where possible, to avoid lengthy delays and the health risks involved in sitting in slow traffic for long periods.
Those who have to travel during these days are advised to plan their journeys and check travel conditions on the rail and roads before setting off, as well as carrying an emergency kit in their cars.
Bedfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Mike Colbourne said: “We understand discussions between rail unions and employers are continuing, but we are preparing for the strike to go ahead and the potential disruption this could bring to families going away for the Bank Holiday, and indeed those residents returning to work the following day.
“We will be working in partnership with local authorities and other agencies to manage this disruption and help keep people safe during this period of industrial action.
“I would remind all residents of the importance of adhering to the rules of the road and plan ahead so you are not faced with unexpected delays on the railways.”