As Storm Gerrit is wreaking havoc across the UK, especially in northern Scotland, travel, travellers going back home after visiting relatives for Christmas or heading to their New Year’s destinations are having to postpone their trips, regardless of how they intended to make it.
With wind gusts reaching up to 70 miles per hour (112 km/h) on the southern coast of the country, a localised tornado damaging over 100 houses in the Greater Manchester area, 22 flood warnings and 127 flood alerts in England and heavy rainfall and snow forecasted across the country, roads, trains, flights and ferries alike are being impacted.
Drivers are advised to exercise heightened caution as the roads become slippery due to the rain and snow and high-speed winds can easily deviate a vehicle’s intended course, while taller ones risk being knocked over.
Fallen trees, heavy rainfall, flooding, snow and winds have led to the closure of some bridges and roads, including the Severn Bridge on the M48, A9, A82 Spean Bridge – Invermoriston, A93 between Braemar and the Spittal of Glenshee turn off, as well as between A957 (Stonehaven turn off) and Hill of Banchory East, and A935 at Brechin.
All trains to and from London Paddington station have been suspended. Moreover, service between London St Pancras International and Luton have also been cancelled until further notice. Thameslink services between Bedford and London Bridge are also severely disrupted.
In Wales, Services between Llandudno / Llandudno Junction – Blaenau Ffestiniog are suspended, while trains between Swansea and Shrewsbury are cancelled due to forecasted severe weather. Transport of Wales is setting up alternative road transport for the cancelled rail links.
In Scotland, flooding at Leuchars has closed both lines between Edinburgh and Dundee. Additionally, heavy rain has flooded the railway at Laurencekirk, closing all lines. Trains running between Edinburgh and Aberdeen via Dundee will be cancelled, delayed or revised. Services between Inverness and Perth / Stirling have been suspended.
British Airways has so far cancelled 20 flights and counting, to and from London Heathrow Airport. Affected domestic connections are with Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey and Manchester, while internationally, the affected routes are to Copenhagen, Geneva, Hamburg, Lisbon, Paris CDG, Prague and Zurich.
“As a result of continued air-traffic control restrictions put in place because of Storm Gerrit, we have had to make some adjustments to our schedule”, and airline spokesperson said. “We have apologised to our customers for any disruption to their travel plans and our teams are working hard to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
On the other hand, Loganair is increasing the number of services available across its Scottish network to compensate for the cancelled flights on Wednesday.
Port authorities at Dover have warned that delays are mounting up to 2 hours, however, DFDS Ferries, connecting Dover to France, is advising passengers to check-in as normal and they will be transferred onto “the first available sailing on arrival”. “All services are currently operating with delays due to strong winds in the Channel”, the operator said.
Elsewhere, disruptions and cancellations continue, including, in Scotland from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran, from mainland Scotland to Orkney and Shetland, as well as between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.