Travel chaos as Storm Eunice hits planes, trains and roads


Storm Eunice is causing travel chaos, with hundreds of flights canceled, train tracks blocked and road bridges closed.

Planes are struggling to land at airports due to high winds, with many being diverted or requiring multiple attempts before landing.

Aviation analysis firm Cirium said at least 436 flights due to take off or land at UK airports were canceled on Friday.

The highest proportion was at Heathrow, where 20% of flights were cancelled.

Next come London City (16%) and Manchester (10%).

Passengers on easyJet flight EJU8014 from Bordeaux to Gatwick suffered two rejected landings before the plane was put on hold over the south coast and then forced to return to the French city.

He landed at his starting point more than three hours after leaving.

The airline told passengers this was due to “poor weather conditions at London Gatwick which are below safe operating limits”.

British Airways flight BA296 from the US city of Chicago was due to land at Heathrow but was diverted to Geneva, Switzerland.

The airline said: “Due to extreme weather conditions across the UK and the resulting restrictions on the number of aircraft that can take off and land each hour, we, like other airlines, are experiencing major disturbances.

“We are operating as many flights as possible and taking on larger aircraft whenever possible.”

Rail services are experiencing major disruption due to Storm Eunice with trees and other objects blocking tracks across Britain.

No trains run in Wales all day.

Network Rail closed all lines in Kent, while all lines in south-east London were blocked by trees.

Many journeys have already been delayed as the organization put in place widespread emergency speed limits of 50mph before bad weather hit to help train drivers brake.

Passengers have been urged to avoid non-essential journeys.

The Transport Secretary posted on Twitter: ‘If you can, please stay home and rearrange journeys for another day.

Motorists drive through sleet and snow along the M8 near Bathgate in West Lothian (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA wire)

The M4 Prince of Wales Bridge and the M48 Severn Bridge – which connect England and Wales across the River Severn – have been closed due to high winds.

This caused frustration for thousands of motorists.

A spokesperson for Severn Crossings said: ‘We understand the effect of a double bridge closure on people wishing to travel.

“This is an extremely rare event for us. We have staff in this storm to ensure steps are taken to keep road users safe and they are mistreated for it.

“Respectfully, stop. Thank you.”

Traffic Wales, the Welsh Government’s traffic information service for motorways and trunk roads, warned that ‘many HGVs are ignoring safety advice on the Britannia Bridge’.

The bridge, which connects the Isle of Anglesey to mainland Wales, is closed to all traffic except cars and vans.

The RAC said the number of calls to broken down vehicles was lower than normal, saying many people were “taking the weather warnings seriously and not leaving”.

He added: “The fact that many roads are so clear is a sign that today is not a safe day to drive.”

Transport for London has urged people to avoid non-essential travel in the capital.

A spokeswoman said: “We are doing everything possible to ensure we are prepared for any impact, with additional staff ready to respond quickly to any incident, but some services will be affected by extreme weather conditions.

“We are also urging Londoners to be careful if traveling in the city.”

Ferry operator P&O Ferries has suspended Dover-Calais crossings “until further notice”.

A spokesperson said: “We expect this to be the case for most of the day and will provide further information when possible.

“We strongly advise our customers not to travel to the Port of Dover today.”

Several ferry services due to cross the Irish Sea have been cancelled.

In Dorset, the Sandbanks ferry between Poole and Studland has been suspended.

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