Rail passengers are being urged to travel either side of the early May bank holiday as major improvements are made to the West Coast main line.

Between Saturday, May 1 and Monday, May 3, West Coast main line track upgrades will take place on the railway from Preston to Lancaster, Oxenholme to Penrith and Crewe to Chester.

Sections of the Cumbrian Coast line will also be improved, while major resignalling work is happening at Trafford in Manchester.

Further afield, London Euston station will be closed for three days between 1-3 May, and north of Carlisle in Scotland resignalling work will also see the West Coast main line closed at Carstairs.

Due to the scale of the railway upgrades over the long weekend, people are being advised to travel before and after the bank holiday on Friday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 4.

Passengers on the days in between will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.

Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast

People should continue to follow Government guidance around the use of public transport and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible.

Phil James, Network Rail’s north west route director, said: “There is never an ideal time to shut the railway and we have worked hard to minimise disruption across the spring and summer.

“It is fantastic to see more passengers return to the railway and we want to make journeys as easy as possible for those travelling over bank holidays.

“We are carefully balancing that with the need to carry out essential railway improvements and maintenance to provide a safe and reliable railway for the future.

“I’d urge people to follow Government advice and minimise travel.”