Airports across the country are gearing up for their first major test of new security measures as an estimated 1.7 million Britons head abroad this Bank Holiday weekend.

The majority of those are expected to catch flights and the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) said today and tomorrow would be the busiest days.

More than than 375,000 will be leaving from Heathrow Airport and 250,000 from Gatwick, while 65,000 are expected to go from Birmingham International Airport over the holiday period.

Abta said favourite hotspots for British travellers this weekend are Majorca, the Canary Islands, the Greek Islands, Italy, Cyprus and Turkey.

At home, with 30 million vehicles set to take to the roads, the Highways Agency said it was suspending roadworks on 12 sites in England, but the major works on West Midlands stretches of the M6 are expected to continue.

The trouble-spots include the stretches between junctions 5 and 6, into Birmingham city centre, and junctions 8 and 9. Both are undergoing resurfacing and waterproofing. The most troublesome traffic blackspots predicted by the AA include the M6 near Sand-bach in Cheshire and the M5 near Weston-super-Mare. Train services from the Midlands are also hit.

* Chiltern Railways:


*For train times and information phone 08457 48 49 50

* The Highways Agency: or phone 08457 50 40 30

* Silverlink: