Are trains running today? List of rail services cancelled and roads closed amid Storm Eunice travel disruption
The Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings across the entirety of the UK - including two rare red weather alerts
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Millions of people have been urged to stay at home for the day, as one of the worst storms in a generation hits the UK.
As Storm Eunice descends upon the country, the Met Office has issued a number of weather warnings - including two rare red weather warnings for wind, an amber weather warning for wind, and yellow weather warnings for wind, snow and ice.
This is how the likes of trains, roads, buses and flights have been affected by the storm.
How have train services been impacted?
Train operators across Britain have urged passengers to avoid travelling on Friday as emergency 50mph speed limits are in place in many areas.
This is to make it easier for train drivers to brake if they spot objects on the track or damage to overhead wires caused by strong winds.
Among the firms advising customers not to travel on Friday are Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, Great Northern, London North Eastern Railway, Southern and Thameslink.
National Rail has said that “Storm Eunice is likely to affect journeys across most of England, Wales and southern Scotland”.
LNER said that it will be running a “reduced service between London King’s Cross and York/Leeds”. Journey times for these services will be increased due to the 50mph speed restriction. The company also said that it expects these services “to be extremely busy and subject to short notice cancellations and alterations”.
It also added that passengers with tickets dated for travel on Friday 18 February will be permitted to travel on Saturday 19, Sunday 20, Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February, but be aware that the trains on Saturday and Sunday will be extremely busy.
In Wales, all trains have been cancelled as a result of the storm.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Thursday: “We are working very closely with national agencies, local authorities and the emergency services to prepare for the incoming storm Eunice.
“A red warning has been issued for much of south Wales from 07.00 tomorrow, which means there is a danger to life. Amber warnings will be in place from early Friday morning for the rest of the country.
“We are expecting significant disruption to travel - all trains in Wales will be cancelled on Friday - so please think carefully and only travel tomorrow if absolutely necessary.”
That means Great Western Railway services from London Paddington are terminating at Bristol Parkway instead of continuing to Swansea.
Train services in Scotland bore most of the brunt of Storm Dudley on Wednesday, but have largely returned back to normal. Some cancellations and delays are still occurring between Edinburgh and Lockerbie, and members of the public are being urged not to travel.
If you’re due to travel today, you should keep an eye on your rail service provider’s website to stay up to date on any delays or cancellations.
Are buses still running?
First Bus services in the West of England have been suspended following the red weather warnings.
On the First Bus website, it states: “Due to a Red Weather Warning issued in the West of England area by the Met Office, all bus services in Bristol (including metrobus, Bristol Park & Ride and Airport Flyer), South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Wells will be suspended until at least 4pm on Friday 18 February.”
A limited service will continue to run in Bath City, but the following services will be suspended: 19, 31 (Lansdown P&R), 39, X39, 82, 171, 172, 173, 174, D1 D2, OS1 and U5.
Go Cornwall Bus, the biggest bus operator in Cornwall, has announced a number of diversions and cancellations of its buses due to the storm.
Have roads been closed?
The Met Office has also taken the unusual step of issuing a severe weather alert with National Highways for strong winds covering the whole of the country’s strategic road network from 6am to 6pm.
National Highways said in a statement: “Storm Eunice will bring some exceptionally strong winds around the Bristol Channel peaking tomorrow morning with 70-80mph gusts and potentially peaking at 90 mph over the Avonmouth and Severn Bridges.
“This will lead to dangerous driving conditions for vulnerable vehicles with exceptional sidewinds and wind-blown debris with Essential Travel Only advised.
“This National Highways Red Alert is embedded within a National Highways Amber Alert which runs alongside this enhanced status.”
It added that there is a “particularly high risk that high-sided vehicles and other ‘vulnerable’ vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over and should not travel on the following sections of roads”:
- M48 Severn Crossing
- M4 Prince of Wales Bridge
- M49 - M4 J22 (at Severn Crossing) to M5 J18 (at Avonmouth)
- M5 J13 - J15 Stroud to M4
- M5 J20 - J23 Clevedon to Bridgwater
National Highways Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve.
“If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.
“In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”
The M48 Severn Bridge is closed in both directions but the M4 Prince of Wales Bridge remains open, with the wind speeds “within operating limits”, a spokesman added.
Major roads including the A66 cross-Pennine route and the M8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow were partially closed due to high winds on Friday morning before reopening later, while the Britannia Bridge connecting the island of Anglesey with mainland Wales has also been shut.
The Tamar bridge, which links Devon and Cornwall, has also been closed with police in the region urging motorists to stay home “unless your journey is absolutely necessary”.
Airports have said that they will try to do “everything in their power” to keep disruptions at bay, but passengers should be prepared for delays and cancellations.
EasyJet said it has cancelled a “small number of flights” from UK airports on Friday.
Passengers on easyJet flight EJU8014 from Bordeaux to London Gatwick endured two aborted landings before their plane was put in a holding pattern over the south coast and then forced to return to the French city.
It touched down back at its starting point more than three hours after it departed.
The airline told passengers: “We’re very sorry that your flight has now been diverted back to Bordeaux.
“This is due to poor weather conditions in London Gatwick, which are below safe operating limits.”
British Airways said the rate of aircraft permitted to land at Heathrow Airport “is being reduced due to gale force winds”.
The airport wrote on Twitter: “High winds and poor weather may cause last-minute delays, but we will do everything in our power to minimise any disruption that results.”
Passengers scheduled to fly with Eastern Airways today have also been advised “not to travel to the airport and to contact the airline to rebook or for a refund”.
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