Road, rail and air travel disrupted as Storm Eunice batters UK
Trains, planes, buses and ferries have been cancelled and roads closed across the UK as Storm Eunice batters the UK with winds of up to 90mph.
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 high-sided vehicles and other “vulnerable” vehicles such as caravans and motorbikes could be blown over so should avoid bridges and viaducts.
Nine train companies, mostly in the south of England and Wales, have cancelled all of their services.
Travel disruption is also expected on all means of transport as the key message is ‘check before you travel’.
In Somerset, the M5 northbound carriageway is closed between J23 at Puriton and J22 at Edithmead due to an overturned lorry. A spokesman for National Highways said: “As result of the incident there is also a spillage of milk on the carriageway”.
Across Cornwall, fallen trees have caused traffic problems across the region.
National Highways said the Britannia Bridge, which connects the island of Anglesey with mainland Wales, is closed to all large vehicles.
The M48 Severn Bridge has been closed in both directions due to strong winds.
The M4 Prince of Wales Bridge over the River Severn has reopened after being closed earlier in the day due to the storm.
The A14 Orwell Bridge in Suffolk is closed in both directions.
The QEII Bridge in Dartford is closed, while the Dartford Crossing on the M25 is also shut.
The Stagecoach South Wales bus company has suspended its services until 1:30pm.
First has suspended all buses in the West of England, South and West Wales, and Somerset until Saturday.
First also suspended most bus services in Cornwall, Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport, Wessex and Dorset.
Stagecoach has suspended all bus services in the South East until 5.30pm.
Stagecoach suspended a lot of services in Wales earlier in the day but now say most services are operating but people should expect delays.
Most Stagecoach services in the South West were also suspended.
Stagecoach services were also severely impacted in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Someset.
Storm Eunice brought snow, rain and strong winds to the North East and North Yorkshire causing bad conditions on roads.
Britain’s rail industry has issued a blanket “do not travel” warning to passengers on Friday.
Jacqueline Starr, chief executive at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Storm Eunice is causing widespread damage and we’ve had to respond by closing lines to keep our customers and staff safe.
“We’re telling people not to travel today and instead to claim a fee-free refund or use their ticket over the weekend".
Network Rail has implemented widespread emergency 50mph speed limits for all services.
All train services in Wales are suspended for the whole day as a Network Rail spokesperson said disruption is “inevitable”.
South Western Railway services have been suspended. The services were earlier disrupted as Network Rail said a fallen tree around 50 feet (15 metres) long at Ewell West, Surrey was blocking the line between London Waterloo and Dorking, Surrey.
Southeastern rail has closed its entire network due to a number of trees blocking lines.
Network Rail Kent & Sussex has said it will be "closing all routes in Kent, and all lines in SE London are blocked by trees. Network Rail earlier warned commuters to avoid travelling on Friday as speed restrictions and cancellations will disrupt travel.
Network Rail has also stopped all trains running in and out of London Euston.
CrossCountry trains are advising people not to travel today and are running a “severely reduced and amended service”.
East Midlands Railway are also urging customers not to travel by train on Friday, saying their trains will “run at reduced speeds and this will cause cancellations and longer journey times”. They have advised that trains to and from London St Pancras “may be withdrawn at short notice”.
All services on Chiltern Railways have been cancelled due to severe weather and obstructions on the railway line.
Avanti West Coast are strongly advising customers not to travel on Friday as they "will be running fewer services" and emergency speed restrictions are in place.
Transport for London (TfL) urged people to avoid non-essential travel in the capital and to check before travelling. London Mayor Sadiq Khan echoed TfL's advice and urged Londoners "to stay at home" and not take risks.
Other rail companies serving London and the South East urging people not to travel include: Greater Anglia , LNER , London Northwestern Railway , Southern and Thameslink.
Great Western Railway, c2c, Greater Anglia, Southeastern and Transport for Wales have cancelled all services.
Aviation analytics firm Cirium said at least 436 flights to, from or within the UK were cancelled on Friday. The highest proportion was at Heathrow, where 20% of flights were cancelled.
Bristol airport cancelled several flights and delayed others until later today. The strong winds forced an EasyJet flight to abort landing twice.
Watch as an EasyJet flight coming in from Paris is unable to land as it approaches the airport.
London City Airport cancelled all departing and arriving flights until 4:30pm on Friday.
At Heathrow on Friday, at least 65 flights – both departures and arrivals – were cancelled and a further 114 were delayed by more than 15 minutes, according to aviation data provider FlightStats by Cirium.
At Gatwick there were 15 cancellations and 67 delayed flights.
Eastern airways have cancelled flights from Newquay Airport to Gatwick.
Exeter airport has cancelled a number of internal flights.
Birmingham airport has also cancelled several flights.
British Airways has cancelled at least 114 departures and 118 arrivals at Heathrow and 24 departures and 26 arrivals at London City.
EasyJet said it has cancelled a "small number of flights" to and from the UK on Friday.
After initially being closed to all public operators, the port of Dover has reopened, but many ferries still face heavy disruption and cancellation.
In Dorset, the Sandbanks ferry between Poole and Studland has been cancelled.
Irish Ferries cancelled four services between Rosslare in south-east Ireland and Pembroke, South Wales.
Stena Line cancelled several sailings on routes between Belfast and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, and Dublin and Holyhead in north Wales.