Tuesday, 29 October 2013

St Jude Storm -UK Transport Operators Prepare for Worst Storm in 5 Years

Weather Warning for Travelers to UK: Affected London's Heathrow Airport & Schiphol Airport

Britain is bracing for hurricane-force winds and flooding starting Sunday Oct 27, 2013, with forecasters predicting the worst storm in 5 years will sweep across England and parts of Wales.

UK’s Met Office had issued an amber alert for high winds in London, southern England, Wales, a large part of the Midlands and southeast. The wind speed may exceed 80mph in places.

London’s Heathrow Airport, Europe’s biggest aviation hub, expects an impact of flights –the storm likely to cause disruption to flights at Heathrow including cancellations.

Travelers should check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.

The UK’s MET Office  has issued an amber alert for high winds in Wales, the East and West Midlands, the South West, London and the South East and the East of England.

A yellow alert warning of heavy rain that could lead to surface water flooding and disruption is in place across much of northern Wales and northern England.

An amber warning means "be prepared", while yellow means "be aware". No warnings are currently in place at the top red level, which means "take action".

Source from BBC UK

Travel warnings include:

·         South West Trains have advised people not to travel on Monday with most services not running until at least 08:00 GMT to allow Network Rail to check lines. A reduced timetable will be in operation, with some trains limited to speeds of 50mph

·         East Coast will operate a revised emergency timetable on Monday, with trains stopping at Peterborough until 10:00 GMT, and limited to speeds of 50mph afterwards

·         First Great Western and Virgin West Coast main line are also running an amended service until 10:00 GMT and 09:00 GMT respectively

·         First Capital Connect and C2C said services are unlikely to begin until 09:00 GMT. Greater Anglia, Southern and Gatwick Express have said services on Monday will not run until it is declared safe to do so

·         London Overground will not run a service on Monday before 09:00 GMT, while First Great Western has warned of extended travelling times and Southeastern said it is likely to start running services late

·         Airports including Heathrow and Gatwick are warning of possible disruption to flights, advising passengers to check with airlines

·         Airlines operating in and out of Heathrow have been instructed to reduce their schedules by between 5% and 20% between the hours of 06:00 GMT and 22:30 GMT, leading to about 60 flight cancellations. It is not yet clear how many of those will be short-haul or long-haul flights

·         EasyJet has warned passengers there could be disruption to flights on Monday. It said no trains would run to Gatwick, Southend, Stansted or Luton airports before 09:00 GMT

·         Eurostar said it will not be running trains on Monday until 07:00 GMT, with early services from London and Brussels subject to delays. It expects to run a full service after 07:00 GMT and passengers are advised to arrive at the scheduled time

·         Several ferry companies have also cancelled services, including some English Channel and Irish Sea crossings

·         Several bridges including the M48 Severn Crossing, the A249 Sheppey Crossing in Kent, and the Tamar Bridge which joins Cornwall and Devon are closed. There also are plans to shut the M4 Severn bridge and the Queen Elizabeth II bridge on the M25 on Monday morning, with traffic directed through the tunnel part of the crossing

·         The Highways Agency is advising motorists to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they travel