Rail disruption and trees down as Storm Arwen batters south coast

271121-Oak tree on traintracks at pokesdown-credit gemma smith
A tree came down on the tracks at Pokesdown. Credit: Gemma Smith

Blustery winds and stormy weather disrupted travel across the South on Saturday (27 November), with fallen trees affecting roads and rail lines.

In Dorset, a tree came down on the tracks at Pokesdown, delaying travel for passengers between Bournemouth and Weymouth.

Many of the county's roads were also obstructed by fallen trees, brought down by high winds caused by the first named storm of the season, Storm Arwen.

Driving conditions were also poor, with Kent Police reporting a number of crashes.

The M20 was closed near Ashford for a length of time, and several vehicles were involved in a collision on the Thanet Way.

In Hampshire, Cunard has had to delay the arrival of its cruise ship Queen Elizabeth which was unable to safely dock in Southampton.

Many events across the south coast have been cancelled due to the high winds, including the Christchurch Christmas lights switch-on, and festive events along Gosport High Street.

Stephen Dixon, a Met Office spokesman, said: “The worst-affected areas will predominantly be on the coasts, with gusts of over 75mph bringing possible disruption to travel and longer journey times, power cuts, flying debris and large waves, with beach material being thrown around."

“The south-east and London, though fairly windy, are likely to escape the worst of the gusts and remain relatively calm in comparison to the rest of the country, which will certainly feel the impact of the storm.”

Storm Arwen is moving in from the North Sea and will travel south before easing on Sunday, Mr Dixon said.