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Festive getaway sees thousands on the move

THOUSANDS of Scots are on the move as the Christmas getaway gets into full swing, with festive travellers crowding on to trains, boats and planes.

Many families were expected to hit the road to spend time with relatives and friends while others will jet off to sunnier climes to escape the dreich Scottish winter weather.

More than 140,000 people are due to travel through Glasgow Airport between December 23 and January 2, with Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Dubai among the most popular destinations. Others will enjoy city breaks in New York, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin while Lapland is a firm favourite for young families, the airport said.

Amanda McMillan, managing director at Glasgow Airport, said: "The festive period is always an emotional time at the airport. Many of our passengers will be returning home to spend the holidays with friends and family, and as a result there can be lots of happy tears in the terminal as loved ones are reunited.

"Others will be seeking to escape the cold weather by flying to sunny locations, and we also have a great number of people keen to be at the heart of the celebrations by heading to popular Christmas destinations."

Budget airline easyJet said it was putting on 170 flights from Glasgow, with 22,000 festive travellers. The busiest day for easyJet will be next Friday, when more than 2500 passengers will fly in and out of Glasgow.

Travel organisation Abta said yesterday, today and Sunday were likely to be the busiest days for those flying abroad.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said there were high levels of salt in stock to ensure the roads were clear of ice and more gritters were being employed. He added: "Our roads, railways and airports can face additional challenges when temperatures drop and there are difficult weather conditions.

"We have high levels of salt in stock and more gritters as well as specialist equipment at our disposal than ever before. However, we also need the public to play their part for all of these developments by staying patient and making sensible decisions such as allowing extra time for their journeys or listening to police advice about when it is safe to travel."

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Travel

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