Bank holiday getaway journeys on a major train route are being disrupted due to an attempted theft of signalling cables.

National Rail Enquiries said trains must run at reduced speeds between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton until damaged cables are repaired.

Meanwhile a points failure is preventing trains from calling at stations between those locations.

The issues are affecting passengers travelling with 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 work around Crewe and Carlisle.

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 because of work building a new station at Beaulieu Park to the east of Chelmsford.

Network Rail says it often carries out major engineering work over bank holiday periods to reduce the number of passengers impacted.

Motoring services company the RAC predicted more than 20 million leisure trips by car will be made between Friday and bank holiday Monday.

Vehicles on the M25
Journeys on the M25 clockwise between Junction 7 for the M23 and Junction 21 for the M1 are expected to be delayed by more than 90 minutes on Friday afternoon (Steve Parsons/PA)

The worst day to travel is likely to be Friday, as the start of the long weekend coincides with the beginning of half-term for many schools.

Transport analytics company Inrix warned that journeys on the M25 clockwise between Junction 7 for the M23 and Junction 21 for the M1 are expected to be delayed by more than 90 minutes in the late afternoon on Friday.

Delays are anticipated to reach an hour on a 45-mile southbound stretch of the M5 – a popular holiday route – from Junction 16 north of Bristol to Junction 25 for Taunton, Somerset.

Aviation analytics company Cirium said Friday is the busiest day of the year for UK airports since October 2019, with more than 3,150 departing flights.

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

The most popular international destinations for UK departures are Dublin, Amsterdam, Palma, Alicante and Malaga.

The Met Office is forecasting a “typical springtime mix of weather” in the UK with sunshine, showers and some longer spells of rain over the bank holiday period.

Deputy chief meteorologist Mark Sidaway said: “The bank holiday weekend will see some sunny spells and it will feel quite pleasant in the sunshine for many on Saturday in particular.

“Sunday and bank holiday Monday will likely see a return to sunshine and showers.

“Low pressure to the west is likely to push fronts into the UK on Sunday, these tending to break up and turn more showery in nature as they do so.

“We are likely to see some heavy, possibly thundery showers on both days, but there should still be some dry spells in between, and in any sunshine it will feel pleasantly warm.”