TRANSPORT chiefs have urged people to work from home while predicting major disruption on roads and rail over the coming days as thousands are expected to head to Edinburgh to pay their respects to the Queen.

Transport Scotland has said that as the coffin is  to be transported from the city centre to Edinburgh Airport, a series of local and major road closures will be in place. This will have a "significant knock-on impact" on surrounding trunk roads and the Edinburgh City Bypass.

A Transport Scotland statement said that "people are being asked to work from home, and those not wishing to pay their respects in person are being asked to avoid any non-essential travel."

They also warned that for safety reasons, people should not throw flowers on the road or towards the cortege. 

Scotland's nationalised train operator ScotRail is urging passengers heading to and from Edinburgh over the coming days to plan ahead as services are expected to be very busy as the capital pays host special events to mark the Queen's passing.

Today marks four days since Queen Elizabeth II died at her Scottish estate, Balmoral Castle.

On Sunday her body was taken on a lengthy journey from Balmoral to Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Today the King and the Queen Consort will fly back to Scotland – having only just returned after being with the Queen in her final hours. They are due to arrive at 12:45pm.

Instead of flying to Aberdeen, they will head to the capital, Edinburgh, where they will travel to the Palace of Holyroodhouse to attend the Ceremony of the Keys.

At around 2.35pm, King Charles III will then lead the Royal Family in procession as the Queen’s coffin is taken from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to nearby St Giles’ Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.

Later in the evening, the King and other members of his family will mount a vigil at the cathedral in honour of their mother.

On Tuesday at 5pm, a hearse will take the coffin to Edinburgh airport arriving at 6pm. The Princess Royal will fly with the coffin for the 55-minute flight to RAF Northolt.

HeraldScotland: The Queen visiting RAF Marham in 2008

Guards of honour will salute the departure from Scotland and the arrival in England.

With thousands of people expected to travel to Edinburgh on Monday and Tuesday to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen, Transport Scotland has said it is working to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum "however, lengthy delays are to be expected".

Traffic Scotland operation manager Stein Connolly said: “Monday and Tuesday will be extremely busy for Edinburgh, the City Bypass, and the surrounding network, due to a series of road closures and the sheer volume of people expected to line the streets.

“We want to strike a balance and ensure those who wish to pay their respects can do so safely. If you can work from home we would strongly encourage you to do so. Please consider your need to travel if you are not attending any of the advertised events.

“If you do plan to pay respects in person, please allow extra time for your journey and leave the car at home. Consider public transport options, or if you need to use a car, think about car sharing and using park and ride facilities where possible. On arrival, be prepared for long periods of standing. Bring water and dress for the weather. Most importantly – let’s look out for each other."

ScotRail is warning that queues are expected at some major stations, particularly Edinburgh Waverley.

The train operator urged people to be patient with ScotRail and Network Rail staff, who it said were "working flat out to ensure people are supported to pay their respects".

Passengers heading to St Giles’ Cathedral are asked travel to Edinburgh Waverley station, where supporting arrangements will be in place.

Due to construction work being carried out on a building next to Haymarket station and the proximity of the tram lines, passengers have been advised not to use Haymarket station if they are heading to St Giles’ Cathedral.

ScotRail said that to support events in Edinburgh and to help passengers spread their journeys throughout the day, it is making making some alterations to servic Alex Hynes, managing director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “On behalf of everyone at Scotland’s Railway, we share the nation’s sadness at Her Majesty The Queen’s death and gratitude for her decades of service. We send our condolences to His Majesty The King and the Royal Family.

“ScotRail and Network Rail are doing everything we can to support people who want to pay their respects while The Queen lies at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral.

“We expect trains to be much busier than normal over the coming days, particularly to and from Edinburgh. Changes are being made to services to help people spread their journeys throughout the day, and passengers should still plan ahead and expect queues throughout the day."

Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said: “We share the respect and affection the public is demonstrating for Her Majesty and urge everyone to continue to be safe as they do so.

“Roads around Edinburgh are expected to be very busy on Tuesday with closures in place and people should plan ahead and follow travel advice.”

City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said “Tuesday’s events will be of an unprecedented scale, even for our Capital City, so I’m really proud that Edinburgh’s playing such a significant role in these ceremonial events with the eyes of the world are on us.

“Thousands of people lined the Royal Mile to hear the proclamation of the new King and we’ll continue to work closely with Scottish Government, Police Scotland and transport providers to manage disruption and safely accommodate the large numbers of visitors who will wish to pay their respects on Tuesday.

“We’re reminding everyone to consider their travel needs and avoid any non-essential travel throughout the day. For those who choose to try and attend events, please be aware that you may need to sit or stand for a number of hours so dress for the weather and with limited facilities, we recommend that you prepare accordingly.”

Transport Scotland said significant numbers of stewards are being drafted in, alongside police officers, to help keep the public safe. The stewards will provide advice on routes from car parks, identified crossing points and safe viewing areas.

They warned that those attending to view the Queen’s cortege, should not leave vehicles at the side of the road as this "poses a risk to public safety".

The Scottish Government transport agency said people should  only park in designated areas and follow the directions of stewards and police.