Travellers across the UK are being warned there could be continued disruption to railways, roads and flights today following the arrival of Storm Ciara.
The storm brought high winds and flooding to large parts of the country over the weekend, forcing airlines to cancel hundreds of flights and causing damage to train tracks.
Network Rail has advised passengers to check their route with their operator as it continues to assess damage to tracks and the repairs needed. It said operators “are also making plans to check that lines will be safe to run passenger trains this morning”.
The Heathrow Express is operating a reduced service between Paddington and the airport, departing every 30 minutes until the end of the day as a result of damage to overhead wires. Departures from Terminal 5 will leave at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour, then at 17 and 47 past the hour from Terminals 2 and 3, and at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour from Paddington.
There are currently major delays on Avanti West Coast services, with trains unable to run between Preston and Glasgow Central/Edinburgh due to flooding at Carlisle. The Wolverhampton-Stafford section is also unable to operate as a result of overhead wire damage – this disruption is also affecting LNER, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Railway services.
In addition to Stafford-Penkridge-Wolverhampton, LNER is warning of disruption on the Bletchley-Bedford, Crewe-Stafford via Stoke-on-Trent, Crew-Liverpool and London Euston-Walsall/Rugeley/Crewe/Liverpool routes.
On the CrossCountry network, Storm Ciara has made a railway embankment unsafe, meaning trains are unable to run between Wolverhampton and Stafford, affecting Manchester-Bristol/Exeter/Paignton services. As a result, trains will only run between Birmingham New Street and Bristol/Exeter/Paignton in both directions. Manchester-Bournemouth services will be diverted southbound and not call at Wolverhampton, Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International; they will additionally call at Tamworth and Nuneaton to allow passengers to change for services to Birmingham.
Northern has been forced to close the line between Ilkley/Skipton/Bradford Forster Square and Leeds for the entirety of Monday due to flooding at Kirkstall Forge, as well as the Carlisle/Lancaster-Leeds line due to flooding at Hellifield.
Meanwhile, Southeastern is warning of disruption between Bromley South and Denmark Hill until 1500 Monday owing to urgent repair work to the tracks. Network Rail has cleared a tree blocking the line at Wadhurst, but the company is warning of delays of up to 30 minutes, while a London-bound line is blocked between Bromley South and Shortlands following damage to a signal, meaning services will be disrupted until the end of the day. This problem is also affecting service between London Victoria/Cannon Street and Ramsgate/Dover via the Medway towns and the Maidstone East line.
British Airways is warning of possible ‘knock-on’ disruption throughout Monday due to the cancellation of flights on Sunday. Passengers have been advised to check the status of their flight before travelling, particularly on short-haul services from Heathrow and Gatwick.
According to the BBC, forecasters are expecting unsettled weather in the wake of Storm Ciara to continue further into the week, with several warnings in place until Wednesday. There is reportedly an increased risk of snow in northern parts of England and Scotland, with the Met Office predicting up to 20cm (8in) on Monday and Tuesday.