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Simon Calder: Storm Isha spreads chaos across rail, sea and air

Simon Calder’s Travel

Seven weather warnings – including two rare amber alerts – have been issued by the Met Office for large swathes of the country on Sunday and Monday.

Millions of travellers by rail, sea and air will find their journeys disrupted. Some intercity train firms are already warning against travel. In Scotland, the Irish Sea and the English Channel many ferry sailings have been cancelled. And in the skies, British Airways has cancelled more than two dozen flights to and from Heathrow.

These are the key areas of severe disruption as of 10am


Avanti West Coast, which runs trains on the line connecting London Euston with the West Midlands, northwest England, North Wales and southern Scotland, has warned against all travel today.

The rail firm says: “Due to the severe weather forecast with Storm Isha, speed restrictions will be in place on all Avanti West Coast routes on Sunday 21 January. We’ll also be operating a reduced timetable with our services expected to be busy.”

Passengers with tickets for Sunday can use them on Monday or Tuesday.

TransPennine Express, the intercity rail firm for the north of England and southern Scotland, says it is advising against travel between Preston and Edinburgh after 2pm and between Preston and Glasgow after 4pm.

ScotRail says: “We will end services early from 7pm on Sunday night on all routes outside the Central Belt [between and around Edinburgh and Glasgow], as well as services to/from Fife, Borders, Maryhill, East Kilbride and Kilmarnock.

“A limited service will run on the remaining Central Belt lines, but journeys will take longer as trains will be limited to 40mph for safety reasons.

“Safety checks will need to be made to ensure there is no damage before services resume on Monday along the affected routes.”

The train operator has appealed to people living near rail lines for help: “We’re asking lineside residents to tie down any loose garden furniture and help protect Scotland’s Railway.”

Caledonian Sleeper has cancelled the Sunday night Highland service – linking Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William with London Euston. The company says: “We strongly advise you not to travel. If travel is essential, you can stay onboard our train in London Euston tomorrow with our crew, as it will remain on the platform overnight. Please arrive by the scheduled departure time of 9.15pm.

“If you…

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