Lichfield

Trains travelling to Lichfield disrupted due to vehicle crashing into …

The collision took place on Birmingham Road, Lichfield, at around 2.20pm on Monday.

As a result, trains running between Lichfield and Shenstone were travelling at a reduced speed.

In a statement issued at around 3.56pm, a spokesman for West Midlands Railway said: "Trains are currently running at a reduced speed between Lichfield and Shenstone in Birmingham Road, Lichfield.

"Minor delays to services are expected until safety inspections of the bridge are complete."

The rail company confirmed at around 5.09pm that services were running as normal.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called to the scene of the collision where crew discovered one patient upon arrival.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "We were called to reports of a car that had collided with a bridge and a van on Birmingham Road at 2.20pm, one ambulance and a paramedic officer attended the scene.

"On arrival we discovered one patient, a man, who was the driver of the car. He was assessed and discharged on scene uninjured."

Bus services were also impacted by the collision, with the X3 having been temporarily diverted.

National Express West Midlands announced at around 4.25pm that the X3 was running a normal line of route as the road had re-opened.

Network Rail to Finalize ?85 Million Signalling Upgrade on West …

Network Rail[1] has confirmed that it is in the final stages of an £85 million investment to upgrade signalling on the West Coast main line between Rugeley and Colwich, with completion scheduled for the end of January. As part of this extensive project, certain sections of the line will be temporarily closed between Rugby and Stafford[2].

During the closure, a team of engineers will be connecting various components of the new signalling system, which has been installed in phases since 2017. The upgrade encompasses the installation of 39 new signals, along with enhancements to 124 axle counters and other associated infrastructure. Additionally, the project involves the consolidation and relocation of workstations from Colwich and Trent Valley to the Rugby Rail Operating Centre.

This initiative builds upon a comprehensive upgrade program for the West Coast Main Line, one of the UK’s busiest railway routes. Recent enhancements include significant work on overhead electrical wiring in the Birmingham area, platform upgrades at Lichfield[3] Trent Valley station, track renewals, and signalling improvements along the Euston to Crewe corridor.

Dave Penney, Network Rail’s passenger director for the North West and Central region, emphasized the positive impact of these signalling improvements on future journeys. He stated, “These major signalling improvements on the West Coast main line will mean better, smoother, and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in the future. However, complex upgrades like these mean we have no choice but to close sections of the railway for new signalling equipment to be installed and tested.”

The project has been in progress for an extended period, including the upgrade of Colwich Junction, a vital segment of the mainline. Colwich Junction underwent a nine-day closure in June, and once the current engineering works are completed, it will feature an entirely new signalling system.

This signalling upgrade initiative follows a previous project further down the line, which successfully delivered substantial improvements between Milton Keynes[4] and London, contributing to the overall enhancement of rail services in the region.

Post Views: 24

References

  1. ^ Network Rail (uknip.co.uk)
  2. ^ Stafford (uknip.co.uk)
  3. ^ Lichfield (uknip.co.uk)
  4. ^ Milton Keynes (uknip.co.uk)

Police incident at Kings Norton train station which suspended services

British Transport Police have been at the scene of an incident at a city railway station today. Scores of police cars were parked on Pershore Road South outside Kings Norton Train station[1] - which suspended services.

Forensic officers and firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service[2] were seen on the platform and on the tracks this afternoon, Saturday December 23. A CrossCountry train, headed to Birmingham New Street,[3] was stationary at the platform.

It has not been confirmed, but it is feared a person has been struck by a train. BirminghamLive has approached British Transport Police for comment. Network Rail were also in attendance.

Services were suspended, with disruption expected until 6pm today. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Transport for West Midlands posted: "Due to a police incident at Kings Norton train station, Cross City South services are currently suspended.

British Transport Police at Kings Norton railway station

"Ticket acceptance with @nxwestmidlands has been requested. Allow extra travel time. Consider your travel arrangements and plan ahead."

National Rail said: "Following the emergency services dealing with an incident between Birmingham New Street and Barnt Green, all lines are now open. Trains may still be cancelled, delayed or diverted. This is expected until 18:00. Rail replacement transport has been requested to run between Redditch[5]/Bromsgrove[6] and Longbridge."

British Transport Police at Kings Norton railway station

Of the services affected, it adds: "CrossCountry between Penzance and Dundee, between Plymouth and Glasgow Central / Edinburgh, between Paignton / Bristol Temple Meads and Manchester Piccadilly and also between Cardiff Central and Nottingham.

"West Midlands Railway between Hereford / Great Malvern and Birmingham New Street, between Redditch and Four Oaks and also between Bromsgrove and Lichfield[7] City."

Get breaking news on BirminghamLive Wha[8]tsApp[9]

Stay up to date with the very latest from your Birmingham or West Midlands street or neighbourhood with our Birmingham News[10] Email Updates[11] sent straight to your inbox

References

  1. ^ Kings Norton Train station (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ West Midlands Fire Service (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Birmingham New Street, (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ Moseley fraudster who fled to Dubai after conviction appears in city's court (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  5. ^ Redditch (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  6. ^ Bromsgrove (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  7. ^ Lichfield (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  8. ^ BirminghamLive Wha (chat.whatsapp.com)
  9. ^ tsApp (chat.whatsapp.com)
  10. ^ Birmingham News (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  11. ^ Email Updates (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

Railfuture’s lukewarm response to government rail freight growth plans

In response to the government's recently published target for the growth in freight moved by rail, [1] has given lukewarm approval to the proposals,

The freight director of Railfuture, Owen O'Neill, commented: “This is nothing to celebrate. A target of 75% growth over 26 years is only 2.2% per year. Over the last 40 years, even with the recent turmoil, GDP growth has averaged 2.0% per year.

Channel Tunnel freight Channel Tunnel freight // Credit: Rail Partners

“The amount of freight moved is closely linked to the economy, so the ‘growth' target is effectively a no-modal-share growth target. This is the minimum cost option with no policy initiatives to drive achieving the target.

“The freight sector seems to be falling over itself in fawning admiration at the mere mention of ‘freight' and ‘growth' in the same story. We note it, that's all.

“Even diesel-hauled rail freight emits 75% less CO2 than moving the same goods by road, we need to have far more challenging modal share growth targets for rail if we are to stand any chance of reaching net zero.

Railfreight 2 Rail freight – the future of Britain's economy. // Credit: Rail Partners

“The government claims to be supporting drivers – but even drivers can see the clear benefits of there being fewer slow-moving, pothole-magnifying HGVs on the roads, but if there is no increase in rail's modal share we will see more HGVs on our roads. HGVs are also disproportionately involved in accidents resulting in people being killed and seriously injured – particularly pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, so everyone wins from fewer HGVs.

“At the same time as announcing this lacklustre target, the government has kicked the legs out from under the ability to deliver it by cancelling the easy-to-construct and high-value section of phase 2a from [2] to [3].

DB Cargo Class 66 DB Cargo Class 66  hauling a freight train. // Credit: Dan Sutcliffe

“The main corridor for moving passengers from [4] to Crewe is also the main corridor for freight. The current ‘plan' to dump [5] trains onto the existing network will add more traffic to an existing set of bottlenecks, with a strong risk that freight will get squeezed out around the edges. This will result in even less freight capacity than today on our critical route for moving intermodal traffic, let alone having capacity for even this lacklustre growth target.”

References

  1. ^ (www.railadvent.co.uk)
  2. ^ (www.railadvent.co.uk)
  3. ^ (www.railadvent.co.uk)
  4. ^ (www.railadvent.co.uk)
  5. ^ (www.railadvent.co.uk)

UK weather: Monster 70mph gales forecast by Met Office to cause Christmas travel chaos

Brits face travel chaos on Christmas Eve as 70mph winds[1] will batter large parts of the country - and likely shut bridges and roads, and delay trains.

Yellow weather[2] warnings are in place for both today and tomorrow - Christmas[3] Eve - and the latter is for concerns around gales for large swathes of the UK. It'll make Christmas travel even more difficult, as the Met Office[4] says roads and bridges could close.

Road, rail, air and ferry services could be delayed or even cancelled in the affected regions, which include parts of the East Midlands, all of Northeast England, the tip of Northwest England and most of Yorkshire and Humberside. A yellow weather warning for wind is also in place for most of Central and Southern Scotland[5] throughout Sunday.

The latest blow comes after Brits have already encountered challenges getting away for Christmas, following motorway closures and train cancellations yesterday[6]. Unscheduled industrial action by French workers meant the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed yesterday, and this caused chaos at the port of Dover in Kent.

This Morning's Rochelle Humes swears by 'glowy' SPF that 'doesn't cause breakouts'[7] Passengers at St Pancras International station Passengers at St Pancras International station already faced delays this week ( PA)

Heavy rain is also likely to disrupt travel in north Wales and mid Wales throughout Sunday. Flooding is feared too, with up to 80mm of rain expected on higher ground in Powys and Gwynedd. The yellow weather warning concerning downpours for Wales will expire at 6pm tomorrow, what is expected to be the peak of the travel rush.

Writing on its website, the Met Office says: "The windy lead-up to Christmas continues, with a likely peak in westerly winds during Christmas Eve. At this stage wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph look like being widespread, with some areas seeing values closer to 60 mph, particularly over and to the lee (east) of the Pennines. Here there is the chance that a few locations could see potentially damaging gusts to around 70 mph. Drivers of high-sided vehicles in particular are likely to experience difficult travelling conditions.

Heavy winds are likely to make travelling treacherous in places Heavy winds are likely to make travelling treacherous in places ( PA)

"Give yourself the best chance of avoiding delays by checking road conditions if driving, or bus and train timetables, amending your travel plans if necessary... Prepare to protect your property and people from injury. Check for loose items outside your home and plan how you could secure them. Items include; bins, garden furniture, trampolines, tents, sheds and fences.

"A band of rain will slowly move south across Wales on Saturday evening and through Sunday, probably clearing to the south later in the day on Sunday. 20-40 mm of rain may accumulate quite widely within the warning area, but west-facing high ground could see 60-80 mm of rain during this period. Strong and gusty winds will accompany the rainfall."

More than 16 million car journeys are expected to have been made across Saturday More than 16 million car journeys are expected to have been made across Saturday ( SWNS)

It's thought more than 16 million car journeys will have taken place by tonight alone. The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

There was disruption between Mansfield and Worksop in Nottinghamshire as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham. No LNER trains served Inverness on Friday morning.

The windiest Christmas Day itself in the UK was in 2011 when gales exceeded 100mph on the Shetland Islands, the Met Office says. Although it will be windy tomorrow, temperatures are expected to be mild across the country. The mercury could hit 14C across southern and eastern England, including across Greater London. Mild temperatures will continue on Christmas Day for many, though the thermometer is unlikely to exceed 15.2C - the hottest December 25, which was recorded in 2015.

References

  1. ^ winds (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ weather (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Christmas (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Met Office (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Scotland (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ following motorway closures and train cancellations yesterday (www.mirror.co.uk)
  7. ^ This Morning's Rochelle Humes swears by 'glowy' SPF that 'doesn't cause breakouts' (www.mirror.co.uk)

Christmas getaway chaos as Dover traffic builds and AA issues travel warning for 16m drivers – latest

24 December 2023 at 0:38 am

Drivers are set to face Christmas travel chaos[1] as 16.4 million drivers hit the roads and two major London railway stations are closed today.

Train disruption is likely as two of London’s railway stations, King’s Cross and Paddington[2], will be shut due to engineering works. The closure of London Paddington will continue until Wednesday, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport.

Motorists have been advised not to drive before 11am or after 6pm today to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.[3]

The AA has issued an Amber Traffic Warning for today with millions of cars expected to travel on this day, causing lengthy jams[4] at traffic hotspots.

In addition, gusts as high as 70mph are due to hit much of Scotland and northern and central areas of England. Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued by the Met Office, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers during the day.

Key Points

  • Motorists advised to avoid roads between 11am and 6pm

  • Millions of car journeys under way as London stations set to close Christmas Eve

  • Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas

  • Network Rail Christmas Eve travel warning

  • What’s happening on the trains?

Government statement on Christmas travel

05:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We know that Christmas is a busy time on our roads - and we work closely with train operators, ports and airports to ensure people can get to where they need to be during the festive period.

“To keep congestion to a minimum, National Highways is ensuring more than 98% of motorways and A-roads are roadwork-free, with over 96% of the rail network also open during Christmas and New Year.

“This Government has made unprecedented investment in transport infrastructure and to suggest otherwise is factually wrong.

“We are providing a record £44.1 billion for Network Rail to run a safe rail network.

“Our Network North plan - backed by £36 billion - will further revolutionise the country’s transport infrastructure with investments in hundreds of local transport projects that matter most to people.”

The best places to see the Northern Lights in the UK

04:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

One of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomena, at certain periods during the year the Northern Lights[5] regularly light up the skies of northern countries[6] that sit in the ‘aurora zone’ of the Arctic Circle.

The light show happens when electronically charged particles enter the Earth’s atmosphere from space, producing dazzling displays of green, yellow, purple and even red lights.

This is visible every year in some areas of European countries like Finland[7], Iceland[8], Sweden[9] and Norway, while there are regular sightings in parts of Canada and Greenland[10] too. Fortunately for Brits, you don’t necessarily need to trek to these countries to see the aurora borealis; sightings have become more frequent in the UK, with the lights seen as far south as Wiltshire[11] in February 2023.

The best places to see the Northern Lights in the UK[12]

Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas

03:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

If you are searching for a white Christmas[13], the Scottish mountains are your best bet this festive season.

The Met Office[14] expects record mild temperatures[15] across the rest of the UK this Christmas, with highs of 13C or 14C.

But the forecaster paints an entirely different picture for Christmas Eve as three yellow weather warnings[16] are in force for Sunday.

Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas[17]

Rail is on track for managed decline, with fare rises only part of the problem

02:00 , Simon Calder

Rishi Sunak[18] has been called many things, but here’s a particularly crisp description from one of the railway industry’s most respected figures, Nigel Harris: “The most anti-rail prime minister we’ve ever had.”

That succinct characterisation was made in an episode of the Green Signals podcast, which Mr Harris co-presents.

At the Conservative conference in Manchester, Mr Sunak announced with relish that he was overturning a decade of consensus that Britain needs a new, comprehensive high-speed rail network – and scrapping HS2 to Manchester[19].

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder reports:

Rail is on track for managed decline, with fare rises only part of the problem[20]

Millions face long traffic queues as motorists drive home for Christmas

01:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Christmas Eve[21] travel[22] plans have begun as millions brave the weather[23] to hit the road and rail[24] on their journeys home[25].

The AA issued an Amber Traffic Warning today as more than 16.4 million cars[26] were expected to travel on Saturday.

Motorists[27] were advised by the RAC[28] to travel before 11am or after 6pm if possible to reduce the chance of being stuck in long queues[29].

Millions face long traffic queues as motorists drive home for Christmas[30]

Met Office forecast for Christmas Eve

00:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Eurostar offers extra trains on Christmas Eve to make up for Thursday’s chaos

Saturday 23 December 2023 23:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Eurostar, which operates passenger rail services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra trains per day between London and Paris including on Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

 (Getty Images)

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Yellow weather warnings in force for UK on Christmas Eve

Saturday 23 December 2023 22:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Met Office has warned Christmas Eve travel plans could be affected with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country.

Gusts as high as 70mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow weather warnings for wind have been issued, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

Meteorologist Liam Eslick said: “People should make sure to leave more time, especially in exposed areas, it could affect rail networks and ferries.

“People travelling on roads should take care and stay away from high-sided vehicles, and for people who are at home and are going for walks, stay away from coasts.”

A yellow weather warning for rain is currently in force covering much of Wales, with forecasters warning that flooding and travel disruption is possible, and will last until 6pm on Christmas Eve.

Between 20 to 40mm of rain is expected widely and 60 to 80mm on higher ground.

Another yellow weather warning for rain is in force for western Scotland until 11.45pm on Saturday, with 20 to 55mm of rain expected widely and 80 to 100mm on higher ground.

Millions of car journeys under way as London stations set to close Christmas Eve

Saturday 23 December 2023 20:53 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Christmas getaway travel disruption is expected, with millions of car journeys under way and major London railway stations set to close on Sunday.

The AA estimated that 16.4 million car journeys will take place on Saturday and warned of “lengthy jams”.

And rail disruption is likely on Christmas Eve as two of London’s railway stations, King’s Cross and Paddington, will be shut due to engineering works.

The closure of London Paddington will continue until Wednesday, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport.

Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas

Saturday 23 December 2023 20:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

If you are searching for a white Christmas[31], the Scottish mountains are your best bet this festive season.

The Met Office[32] expects record mild temperatures[33] across the rest of the UK this Christmas, with highs of 13C or 14C.

But the forecaster paints an entirely different picture for Christmas Eve as three yellow weather warnings[34] are in force for Sunday.

Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas[35]

Watch - Christmas travel chaos in full swing as queues build at Port of Dover

Saturday 23 December 2023 20:00 , Lydia Patrick

The busiest day of the year to travel

Saturday 23 December 2023 19:00 , Lydia Patrick

The AA has issued an Amber Traffic Warning today with more than 16.4 million cars expected to travel on this day, causing lengthy jams at traffic hotspots.

The AA president Edmund King said: “While Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December look set to be the busiest travelling days, the unsettled weather forecast could lead to additional delays so drivers should drive to the conditions and slow down where necessary.”

Network Rail Christmas Eve travel warning

Saturday 23 December 2023 18:02 , Lydia Patrick

Major engineering work is taking place on Christmas Eve which will affect journeys to and from London Paddington[36] and London Kings Cross[37] stations.

Amongst many other destinations, this will affect journeys to South Wales, Bristol, the West Country and Heathrow Airport; also Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle and Peterborough.

If you were planning on travelling to these destinations on Christmas Eve, you may have to use replacement buses, use services from alternative London terminals, and possibly change trains once or more during your journey.

Many train services are not running as late as usual, so passengers are advised to check their journey before they travel.

A rail fares rise of nearly 5% has been described by passenger groups as ‘another unwelcome price hike’ (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

A rail fares rise of nearly 5% has been described by passenger groups as ‘another unwelcome price hike’ (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

A rail fares rise of nearly 5% has been described by passenger groups as ‘another unwelcome price hike’ (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

Eurostar running extra services

Saturday 23 December 2023 17:30 , Lydia Patrick

Chaos unfolded yesterday when a shock strike hit Eurotunnel train services, at least 30 trains were cancelled on Thursday with services not resuming until Friday.

Eurostar, which operates passenger rail services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra trains per day between London and Paris including on Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

Queues stretched through St Pancras after Eurotunnel strike causes chaos (PA)

Queues stretched through St Pancras after Eurotunnel strike causes chaos (PA)

Queues stretched through St Pancras after Eurotunnel strike causes chaos (PA)

Motorists advised to avoid roads after 6pm

Saturday 23 December 2023 17:00 , Lydia Patrick

Motorists have been advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Storm Pia has unleashed Christmas travel chaos as flights are grounded due to high winds, after a sudden French strike forced the Eurotunnel to close on Thursday.

Severe weather conditions could impact travel

Saturday 23 December 2023 16:30 , Lydia Patrick

The Met Office has warned Christmas Eve travel plans could be affected with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country.

Gusts as high as 70mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow weather warnings for wind have been issued, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

Meteorologist Liam Eslick said: “People should make sure to leave more time, especially in exposed areas, it could affect rail networks and ferries.

“People travelling on roads should take care and stay away from high-sided vehicles, and for people who are at home and are going for walks, stay away from coasts.”

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (PA)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (PA)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (PA)

More road delays

Saturday 23 December 2023 16:15 , Lydia Patrick

Drivers are being warned to expect delays on the A1 in Northumberland after a serious crash.

The road was closed in both directions on Saturday morning after the incident, which happened between the A1167 and B1340 near Belford.

More road delays

Saturday 23 December 2023 16:14 , Lydia Patrick

Drivers are being warned to expect delays on the A1 in Northumberland after a serious crash.

The road was closed in both directions on Saturday morning after the incident, which happened between the A1167 and B1340 near Belford.

Warning to those driving (or catching trains) home for Christmas

Saturday 23 December 2023 15:48 , Lydia Patrick

Christmas getaway travel disruption is expected, with millions of car journeys under way and major London railway stations set to close on Sunday.

The AA estimated that 16.4 million car journeys will take place on Saturday and warned of “lengthy jams”.

And rail disruption is likely on Christmas Eve as two of London’s railway stations, King’s Cross and Paddington, will be shut due to engineering works.

The closure of London Paddington will continue until Wednesday, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport.

Dover was hit by heavy delays today as people made their wat home for Christmas (PA)

Dover was hit by heavy delays today as people made their wat home for Christmas (PA)

Dover was hit by heavy delays today as people made their wat home for Christmas (PA)

Small chance of hottest Christmas Day and only Scottish mountains to see snow

Saturday 23 December 2023 15:30 , Lydia Patrick

Christmas Day could reach record temperatures, with only the Scottish mountains likely to see snow, the Met Office has said.

The forecaster said December 25 will be damp and windy but especially mild, with highs of 13C or 14C.

The hottest Christmas Day on record was 15.6C in 1920, so there is a “small chance” of it being a record, the Met Office added.

Meteorologist Liam Eslick said there may be snow on Christmas Day on mountains in Scotland, but it is “not looking likely that there will be a white Christmas in England”.

A runner braves the snow on Bidston Hill, near Birkenhead, in north west England on March 9, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A runner braves the snow on Bidston Hill, near Birkenhead, in north west England on March 9, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

A runner braves the snow on Bidston Hill, near Birkenhead, in north west England on March 9, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

Wait time at Dover now zero

Saturday 23 December 2023 15:17 , Lydia Patrick

Good news for those crossing the channel- the queues have finally subsided.

There remains no wait time at French border controls. Wishing all our passengers a pleasant transit and safe onward journey this Christmas 🎅

— Port of Dover Travel (@PoD_travelnews) December 23, 2023[38]

The busiest day of the year to travel

Saturday 23 December 2023 15:00 , Lydia Patrick

The AA has issued an Amber Traffic Warning today with more than 16.4 million cars expected to travel on this day, causing lengthy jams at traffic hotspots.

The AA president Edmund King said: “While Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December look set to be the busiest travelling days, the unsettled weather forecast could lead to additional delays so drivers should drive to the conditions and slow down where necessary.”

Still a 90-minute wait at Port of Dover

Saturday 23 December 2023 14:30 , Lydia Patrick

Drivers are still waiting in 90-minute-long queues to reach the Port of Dover.

Watch - Christmas travel chaos in full swing as queues build at Port of Dover

Saturday 23 December 2023 13:45 , Lydia Patrick

Rail disruption between Peterborough and Stevenage

Saturday 23 December 2023 13:38 , Lydia Patrick

Passengers travelling on services out of London between Peterborough and Stevenage may face disruption or delays due to a tree touching overhead signalling wires.

Kent residents share their annoyance

Saturday 23 December 2023 12:45 , Lydia Patrick

The delays are a familiar state of affairs for Dover residents.

Many have taken to Facebook to share their annoyance.

Jan Hill said:

Every year we encounter this mayhem. Why do they do this and make all the long distance drivers wait at the side of the road? Shouldn’t they prepare more ferries and run more routes to prevent this. Dover deserves so much better. The HGV drivers should be priorities. They have families they don’t see for weeks on end because they have to work. Their families and the HGV drivers deserve to be together for the holidays. We also should give them more stations to stop safely, that provide hot meals, drinks, toilet and washing facilities. They are humans and should be treated as such.

Jan Hill

Where are the road delays?

Saturday 23 December 2023 12:12 , Lydia Patrick

Unsettled weather is likely to add to journey times on some stretches of the motorway network including the M25, the M5 between Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare and the M6 around Birmingham.

In addition, stretches of the M1 ‘smart’ motorway from Luton northwards can often suffer congestion from incidents or breakdowns, as can the M62 and M60 in the North West. Both the M4 and the A34 are also set to suffer from significant delays.

Rail disruption continues

Saturday 23 December 2023 11:30 , Lydia Patrick

The rail disruption is set to continue on Christmas Eve as London King’s Cross will be closed due to engineering works.

The closure of London Paddington will continue until Wednesday, meaning no mainline trains will serve Heathrow Airport.

Shadow transport minister Louise Haigh said the infrastructure has been “totally underinvested in”, causing “record delays and cancellations”.

She told Times Radio on Saturday that anyone who has tried to catch a train in the last couple of years will “almost certainly” have experienced delays, cancellations and poor service because the Government has “presided over the managed decline of our railways and has been totally prepared to accept status quo”.

Ms Haigh said the Labour Party has set out plans to reform railways to bring them into public ownership and “to bring decisions around infrastructure and the operations of the railways together”.

Labour has pledged to support drivers through the cost-of-living crisis (Brian Lawless/PA Images) (PA Archive)

Labour has pledged to support drivers through the cost-of-living crisis (Brian Lawless/PA Images) (PA Archive)

Labour has pledged to support drivers through the cost-of-living crisis (Brian Lawless/PA Images) (PA Archive)

‘Kids are crying’ - Traveller shares her annoyance from Dover queue

Saturday 23 December 2023 11:14 , Lydia Patrick

Maeve Patterson who is travelling through the Port of Dover took to X to share her irritation whilst waiting in line.

Why are your staff at Dover only moving vehicles in 2 out of the approx 7 lanes , with no explanations to all of us stuck here. Kids are crying and it is as ever a total mess - no information or coordinated management in line with booked boats …. Anyone here to support?

— Maeve Patterson (@maeve_patterson) December 23, 2023[39]

Dover queueing time reaches 90 minutes

Saturday 23 December 2023 11:07 , Lydia Patrick

People travelling over to France for Christmas can expect an even longer wait.

The Port of Dover shared on X: “There is currently a 90-minute wait time ahead of French border controls as we help passengers get away for Christmas. Please check with your chosen ferry operator for further travel updates.”

Pictured: Port of Dover travel chaos

Saturday 23 December 2023 10:29 , Lydia Patrick

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire) Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire) Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Remnants of Storm Pia could lead to further disruption

Saturday 23 December 2023 10:15 , Lydia Patrick

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel issues in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked December 25.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

A yellow warning for rain covers much of Wales, with forecasters warning flooding and travel disruption is possible.

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

What’s happening on the trains?

Saturday 23 December 2023 09:30 , Lydia Patrick

Passengers have faced severe delays this week due to Storm Pia, here is the railway situation today.

Network Rail warned severe weather was likely to impact some ScotRail routes.

Eurostar, which operates passenger services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra services per day between London and Paris up to and including Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

Motorway closures

Saturday 23 December 2023 08:54 , Lydia Patrick

The A66 in Cumbria is closed in both directions between the A595 south (Bridgefoot) and the A595 north (Cockermouth) due to a serious collision.

Traffic has been diverted via local routes causing delays.

The M20 motorway in Kent has reopened between junctions 8 and 9 after it was closed due to Operation Brock, which involves organising a queue for freight traffic during disruption to cross-Channel services.

60 minutes wait time at port of Denver

Saturday 23 December 2023 08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Travellers making cross-Channel journeys at the port of Dover have been urged to prepare for potential long waits as Christmas getaway disruption continues across the country.

P&O Ferries said there were estimated wait times of 60 minutes at border control.

The port has attributed the delay to a surge in demand for ferries after the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed on Thursday due to unscheduled industrial action by French workers, which ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people.

The ferry company advised travellers in a post on X: “There is an estimated wait time of 60mins to reach border control after entering the port.

“There are limited toilet facilities, we recommend stopping en route.

“Please come prepared with refreshments to make your wait more comfortable. Thank you for your patience.”

Northern parts of UK to face rain and snow

Saturday 23 December 2023 07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Scotland on Saturday would be lashed with rain and snow in the north, leading to some icy stretches.

The snow is expected to reach Northern Ireland and northern England later in the day, the Met Office predicts.

Southern parts of the country would be drier with bright or sunny spells, although it would be windy.

Generally windy and rather cloudy overnight, according to the Met Office. “Rain mostly in the west, particularly persistent for northwest England and west Wales.”

Yellow warning extended till Saturday afternoon

Saturday 23 December 2023 06:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The yellow weather warning for snow and ice for north and northeast Scotland has been extended till Saturday afternoon.

“The warning cessation time has been extended into Saturday afternoon and now finishes at 3pm,” it said in an update.

Motorists advised to avoid roads between 11am and 6pm

Saturday 23 December 2023 05:09 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Motorists have been advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Storm Pia has unleashed Christmas travel chaos as flights are grounded due to high winds, after a sudden French strike forced the Eurotunnel to close on Thursday.

More car journeys than last Christmas

Saturday 23 December 2023 05:00 , Jane Dalton

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Motorists were advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm if possible to reduce the chance of being stuck in long queues.

 (Getty Images)

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Recap: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK

Saturday 23 December 2023 04:00 , Jane Dalton

In Pictures: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK[40]

London’s Euston waits: in pictures

Saturday 23 December 2023 02:50 , Jane Dalton

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Winds and rain predicted to spoil Christmas

Saturday 23 December 2023 00:55 , Jane Dalton

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel hold-ups in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked Monday.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, the Met Office saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Passengers hit by rail cancellations and delays

Friday 22 December 2023 23:35 , Jane Dalton

Rail travel problems hit passengers trying to get away three days before Christmas.

Southeastern said a shortage of available train crew was continuing to disrupt its services on Friday.

Services on the Sheerness line were suspended at 10am for the rest of the day, and there are cancellations on the high-speed line to and from London St Pancras throughout the day.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

No LNER trains served Inverness on Friday morning.

References

  1. ^ Christmas travel chaos (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ King’s Cross and Paddington (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ g stuck on the road. (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ causing lengthy jams (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ Northern Lights (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ skies of northern countries (www.independent.co.uk)
  7. ^ Finland (www.independent.co.uk)
  8. ^ Iceland (www.independent.co.uk)
  9. ^ Sweden (www.independent.co.uk)
  10. ^ regular sightings in parts of Canada and Greenland (www.independent.co.uk)
  11. ^ seen as far south as Wiltshire (www.independent.co.uk)
  12. ^ The best places to see the Northern Lights in the UK (www.independent.co.uk)
  13. ^ Christmas (www.independent.co.uk)
  14. ^ Met Office (www.independent.co.uk)
  15. ^ temperatures (www.independent.co.uk)
  16. ^ weather warnings (www.independent.co.uk)
  17. ^ Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas (www.aol.co.uk)
  18. ^ Rishi Sunak (www.independent.co.uk)
  19. ^ Mr Sunak announced with relish that he was overturning a decade of consensus that Britain needs a new, comprehensive high-speed rail network – and scrapping HS2 to Manchester (www.independent.co.uk)
  20. ^ Rail is on track for managed decline, with fare rises only part of the problem (www.aol.co.uk)
  21. ^ Christmas Eve (www.independent.co.uk)
  22. ^ travel (www.independent.co.uk)
  23. ^ weather (www.independent.co.uk)
  24. ^ rail (www.independent.co.uk)
  25. ^ their journeys home (www.aol.co.uk)
  26. ^ more than 16.4 million cars (www.independent.co.uk)
  27. ^ Motorists (www.independent.co.uk)
  28. ^ RAC (www.independent.co.uk)
  29. ^ long queues (www.aol.co.uk)
  30. ^ Millions face long traffic queues as motorists drive home for Christmas (www.aol.co.uk)
  31. ^ Christmas (www.independent.co.uk)
  32. ^ Met Office (www.independent.co.uk)
  33. ^ temperatures (www.independent.co.uk)
  34. ^ weather warnings (www.independent.co.uk)
  35. ^ Met Office’s verdict on if it will be a White Christmas (www.aol.co.uk)
  36. ^ London Paddington (www.nationalrail.co.uk)
  37. ^ London Kings Cross (www.nationalrail.co.uk)
  38. ^ December 23, 2023 (twitter.com)
  39. ^ December 23, 2023 (twitter.com)
  40. ^ In Pictures: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK (www.independent.co.uk)

Motorway gridlock fears as 16.4m to hit road and drivers warned of …

Storm Pia: 80mph winds batter Britain with 'do not travel' warnings issued

Simon Calder’s Travel

Sign up to Simon Calder’s free travel email for expert advice and money-saving discounts

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Drivers are set to face Christmas travel chaos[1] as 16.4 million drivers hit the roads on the busiest day for travel of the year.

Motorists have been advised not drive before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.[2]

The AA has issued an Amber Traffic Warning for today with millions of cars expected to travel on this day, causing lengthy jams [3]at traffic hotspots.

The AA president[4] Edmund King said: “While Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December look set to be the busiest travelling days, the unsettled weather forecast could lead to additional delays so drivers should drive to the conditions and slow down where necessary.

Hundreds of drivers trying to catch ferries abroad in the festive getaway faced big snarl-ups at the port of Dover[5], some left stuck in long queues yesterday.

Port chiefs warned that only those who had booked would be able to travel, saying it was taking about 90 minutes to process cars with pre-booked tickets.

Show latest update 1703323802

What’s happening on the trains?

Passengers have faced severe delays this week due to Storm Pia, here is the railway situation today.

Network Rail warned severe weather was likely to impact some ScotRail routes.

Eurostar, which operates passenger services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra services per day between London and Paris up to and including Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

Lydia Patrick23 December 2023 09:30

[6]1703321675

Motorway closures

The A66 in Cumbria is closed in both directions between the A595 south (Bridgefoot) and the A595 north (Cockermouth) due to a serious collision.

Traffic has been diverted via local routes causing delays.

The M20 motorway in Kent has reopened between junctions 8 and 9 after it was closed due to Operation Brock, which involves organising a queue for freight traffic during disruption to cross-Channel services.

Lydia Patrick23 December 2023 08:54

[7]1703318413

60 minutes wait time at port of Denver

Travellers making cross-Channel journeys at the port of Dover have been urged to prepare for potential long waits as Christmas getaway disruption continues across the country.

P&O Ferries said there were estimated wait times of 60 minutes at border control.

The port has attributed the delay to a surge in demand for ferries after the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed on Thursday due to unscheduled industrial action by French workers, which ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people.

The ferry company advised travellers in a post on X: “There is an estimated wait time of 60mins to reach border control after entering the port.

“There are limited toilet facilities, we recommend stopping en route.

“Please come prepared with refreshments to make your wait more comfortable. Thank you for your patience.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2023 08:00

[8]1703314807

Northern parts of UK to face rain and snow

Scotland on Saturday would be lashed with rain and snow in the north, leading to some icy stretches.

The snow is expected to reach Northern Ireland and northern England later in the day, the Met Office predicts.

Southern parts of the country would be drier with bright or sunny spells, although it would be windy.

Generally windy and rather cloudy overnight, according to the Met Office. “Rain mostly in the west, particularly persistent for northwest England and west Wales.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2023 07:00

[9]1703311207

Yellow warning extended till Saturday afternoon

The yellow weather warning for snow and ice for north and northeast Scotland has been extended till Saturday afternoon.

“The warning cessation time has been extended into Saturday afternoon and now finishes at 3pm,” it said in an update.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2023 06:00

[10]1703308168

Motorists advised to avoid roads between 11am and 6pm

Motorists have been advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Storm Pia has unleashed Christmas travel chaos as flights are grounded due to high winds, after a sudden French strike forced the Eurotunnel to close on Thursday.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 December 2023 05:09

[11]1703307600

More car journeys than last Christmas

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Motorists were advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm if possible to reduce the chance of being stuck in long queues.

(Getty Images)

Jane Dalton23 December 2023 05:00

[12]1703304000

Recap: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK

Jane Dalton23 December 2023 04:00

[13]1703299800

London’s Euston waits: in pictures

(EPA)

(EPA)

pPassengers wait for train services from Euston Station/p

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station

(EPA)

Jane Dalton23 December 2023 02:50

[14]1703292900

Winds and rain predicted to spoil Christmas

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel hold-ups in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked Monday.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, the Met Office saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

pYellow warnings for Christmas Eve/p

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve

(Met Office )

Jane Dalton23 December 2023 00:55

[15]

References

  1. ^ Port of Dover wait times at 60 minutes as travellers seek Christmas getaway (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ Simon Calder’s travel year in review: chaos from beginning to end, plus five great destinations for 2024 (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ Port of Dover wait times at 60 minutes as travellers seek Christmas getaway (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ Christmas travel delays for millions as strong winds set to batter UK on Christmas Eve (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ Dover (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ 1703323802 (www.independent.co.uk)
  7. ^ 1703321675 (www.independent.co.uk)
  8. ^ 1703318413 (www.independent.co.uk)
  9. ^ 1703314807 (www.independent.co.uk)
  10. ^ 1703311207 (www.independent.co.uk)
  11. ^ 1703308168 (www.independent.co.uk)
  12. ^ 1703307600 (www.independent.co.uk)
  13. ^ 1703304000 (www.independent.co.uk)
  14. ^ 1703299800 (www.independent.co.uk)
  15. ^ 1703292900 (www.independent.co.uk)

Christmas travel live: Motorway gridlock fears as 16.4m to hit road and drivers warned of Dover chaos

23 December 2023 at 9:43 am

Drivers are set to face Christmas travel chaos[1] as 16.4 million drivers hit the roads on the busiest day for travel of the year.

Motorists have been advised not drive before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.[2]

The AA has issued an Amber Traffic Warning for today with millions of cars expected to travel on this day, causing lengthy jams[3] at traffic hotspots.

The AA president[4] Edmund King said: “While Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December look set to be the busiest travelling days, the unsettled weather forecast could lead to additional delays so drivers should drive to the conditions and slow down where necessary.

Hundreds of drivers trying to catch ferries abroad in the festive getaway faced big snarl-ups at the port of Dover[5], some left stuck in long queues yesterday.

Port chiefs warned that only those who had booked would be able to travel, saying it was taking about 90 minutes to process cars with pre-booked tickets.

Key Points

  • Motorists advised to avoid roads between 11am and 6pm

  • 60 minutes wait time at port of Denver

  • What’s happening on the trains?

‘Kids are crying’ - Traveller shares her annoyance from Dover queue

11:14 , Lydia Patrick

Maeve Patterson who is travelling through the Port of Dover took to X to share her irritation whilst waiting in line.

Why are your staff at Dover only moving vehicles in 2 out of the approx 7 lanes , with no explanations to all of us stuck here. Kids are crying and it is as ever a total mess - no information or coordinated management in line with booked boats …. Anyone here to support?

— Maeve Patterson (@maeve_patterson) December 23, 2023[6]

Dover queueing time reaches 90 minutes

11:07 , Lydia Patrick

People travelling over to France for Christmas can expect an even longer wait.

The Port of Dover shared on X: “There is currently a 90-minute wait time ahead of French border controls as we help passengers get away for Christmas. Please check with your chosen ferry operator for further travel updates.”

Pictured: Port of Dover travel chaos

10:29 , Lydia Patrick

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire) Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas period. (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire) Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Traffic queues for ferries at the Port of Dover in Kent as people travel to their destinations for the Christmas perio (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Remnants of Storm Pia could lead to further disruption

10:15 , Lydia Patrick

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel issues in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked December 25.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

A yellow warning for rain covers much of Wales, with forecasters warning flooding and travel disruption is possible.

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

Weather warnings in place for Saturday 23 (The Met Office)

What’s happening on the trains?

09:30 , Lydia Patrick

Passengers have faced severe delays this week due to Storm Pia, here is the railway situation today.

Network Rail warned severe weather was likely to impact some ScotRail routes.

Eurostar, which operates passenger services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra services per day between London and Paris up to and including Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

Motorway closures

08:54 , Lydia Patrick

The A66 in Cumbria is closed in both directions between the A595 south (Bridgefoot) and the A595 north (Cockermouth) due to a serious collision.

Traffic has been diverted via local routes causing delays.

The M20 motorway in Kent has reopened between junctions 8 and 9 after it was closed due to Operation Brock, which involves organising a queue for freight traffic during disruption to cross-Channel services.

60 minutes wait time at port of Denver

08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Travellers making cross-Channel journeys at the port of Dover have been urged to prepare for potential long waits as Christmas getaway disruption continues across the country.

P&O Ferries said there were estimated wait times of 60 minutes at border control.

The port has attributed the delay to a surge in demand for ferries after the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed on Thursday due to unscheduled industrial action by French workers, which ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people.

The ferry company advised travellers in a post on X: “There is an estimated wait time of 60mins to reach border control after entering the port.

“There are limited toilet facilities, we recommend stopping en route.

“Please come prepared with refreshments to make your wait more comfortable. Thank you for your patience.”

Northern parts of UK to face rain and snow

07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Scotland on Saturday would be lashed with rain and snow in the north, leading to some icy stretches.

The snow is expected to reach Northern Ireland and northern England later in the day, the Met Office predicts.

Southern parts of the country would be drier with bright or sunny spells, although it would be windy.

Generally windy and rather cloudy overnight, according to the Met Office. “Rain mostly in the west, particularly persistent for northwest England and west Wales.”

Yellow warning extended till Saturday afternoon

06:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The yellow weather warning for snow and ice for north and northeast Scotland has been extended till Saturday afternoon.

“The warning cessation time has been extended into Saturday afternoon and now finishes at 3pm,” it said in an update.

Motorists advised to avoid roads between 11am and 6pm

05:09 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Motorists have been advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm to reduce the chances of being stuck on the road.

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Storm Pia has unleashed Christmas travel chaos as flights are grounded due to high winds, after a sudden French strike forced the Eurotunnel to close on Thursday.

More car journeys than last Christmas

05:00 , Jane Dalton

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20 per cent on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Motorists were advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm if possible to reduce the chance of being stuck in long queues.

 (Getty Images)

 (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Recap: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK

04:00 , Jane Dalton

In Pictures: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK[7]

London’s Euston waits: in pictures

02:50 , Jane Dalton

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

 (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Passengers wait for train services from Euston Station (EPA)

Winds and rain predicted to spoil Christmas

00:55 , Jane Dalton

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel hold-ups in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked Monday.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, the Met Office saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Yellow warnings for Christmas Eve (Met Office)

Passengers hit by rail cancellations and delays

Friday 22 December 2023 23:35 , Jane Dalton

Rail travel problems hit passengers trying to get away three days before Christmas.

Southeastern said a shortage of available train crew was continuing to disrupt its services on Friday.

Services on the Sheerness line were suspended at 10am for the rest of the day, and there are cancellations on the high-speed line to and from London St Pancras throughout the day.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

No LNER trains served Inverness on Friday morning.

References

  1. ^ Christmas travel chaos (www.independent.co.uk)
  2. ^ g stuck on the road. (www.independent.co.uk)
  3. ^ causing lengthy jams (www.independent.co.uk)
  4. ^ AA president (www.independent.co.uk)
  5. ^ Dover (www.independent.co.uk)
  6. ^ December 23, 2023 (twitter.com)
  7. ^ In Pictures: Transport disrupted and trees uprooted as Storm Pia pummels UK (www.independent.co.uk)

Port of Dover wait times at 60 minutes as travellers seek Christmas getaway

Travellers making cross-Channel journeys at the port of Dover[1] have been urged to prepare for potential long waits as Christmas getaway disruption continues across the country.

P&O Ferries said there were estimated wait times of 60 minutes at border control.

The port has attributed the delay to a surge in demand for ferries after the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed on Thursday due to unscheduled industrial action by French workers, which ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people.

The ferry company advised travellers in a post on X: “There is an estimated wait time of 60mins to reach border control after entering the port.

“There are limited toilet facilities, we recommend stopping en route.

“Please come prepared with refreshments to make your wait more comfortable. Thank you for your patience.”

P&O Ferries apologised for delays, telling customers: “Please accept our sincere apologies for the waiting time you are currently experiencing.

“We are working hard with the authorities involved to improve the situation and would like to assure you that you will be accommodated on the next available sailing once you get through.”

Road congestion was likely to have peaked on Friday afternoon as drivers embarking on leisure trips competed for road space with commuters and business traffic.

The A66 in Cumbria is closed in both directions between the A595 south (Bridgefoot) and the A595 north (Cockermouth) due to a serious collision.

Traffic has been diverted via local routes causing delays.

The M20 motorway in Kent has reopened between junctions 8 and 9 after it was closed due to Operation Brock, which involves organising a queue for freight traffic during disruption to cross-Channel services.

Eurostar, which operates passenger services to and from London St Pancras, is operating two extra services per day between London and Paris up to and including Christmas Eve to help people whose trains were cancelled on Thursday.

Vehicle-carrying train service Eurotunnel is running its usual timetable but is only accepting customers who have pre-booked.

On the domestic railway, disruption from strong winds remained following chaos caused by Storm Pia on Thursday.

The Elizabeth line suffered severe delays on Friday afternoon between London Paddington, Reading and Heathrow Airport after two trains broke down.

Network Rail said disruption was expected between Mansfield and Worksop for the end of the day, as well as between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley, caused by damage to the overhead electric wires in the Aston area of Birmingham.

No LNER trains served Inverness on Friday morning.

ScotRail services were suspended between Inverness and Wick, Tain, Ardgay and Lairg.

The Met Office has warned there could be more weather-related travel issues in parts of the UK this weekend.

Christmas Eve travel plans could be ruined with heavy winds set to batter parts of the country ahead of a rain-soaked December 25.

Gusts as high as 60 to 70 mph are due to hit the north of Scotland and northern and central areas of England.

Two separate yellow wind warnings have been issued, saying people should expect travel disruption, damage to buildings and power cuts, while the rest of the country may see showers.

A yellow warning for rain covers much of Wales, with forecasters warning flooding and travel disruption is possible.

Network Rail warned severe weather was likely to impact some ScotRail routes on Saturday.

The RAC estimated 13.5 million leisure journeys by car would take place across the UK between Friday and Sunday, up 20% on the three days before Christmas Day last year.

Motorists were advised to travel before 11am or after 6pm if possible to reduce the chance of being stuck in long queues.

Get the latest train and travel news with our FREE traffic and travel email for KentLive readers. Find out more here.[3]

References

  1. ^ Dover (www.kentlive.news)
  2. ^ Southeastern and Thameslink confirm Christmas schedule changes including when no trains will run (www.kentlive.news)
  3. ^ Find out more here. (www.kentlive.news)

Storm Pia live as 50mph winds cause disruption on trains and roads across West Midlands

The Met Office has issued a weather warning of high winds which are currently battering much of the UK today. In the West Midlands this has sees branches and trees toppling over, blocking roads and pavements.

The gusts are sending debris flying around and people are rushing out to rescue their bins. The gusts come as Danish named Storm Pia brings strong winds across the UK.

Rail providers are warning of potential delays with services. Meanwhile, a fallen tree has blocked off the Roundabout estate in Northfield.[1] Fire crews are currently trying to remove the huge stricken tree which is laid across the pavement and road.

The Met Office forecast for the day predicts a dry, sunny day with temperatures climbing to 11C. But gusts of wind will remain high into the afternoon ranging between 45mph and 51mph between 8am and 3pm.

A yellow weather warning is in place for large swathes of the UK until 9pm. While Birmingham just skirts the edge of that warning, large parts of the Black Country are included including Walsall and Wolverhampton

Please email any pictures or information about incidents to [email protected]

Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp[2]

Get the latest updates below.

20:26Harry Leach

Further reading

This live blog has now closed.

Here is a recap of our stories covering Storm Pia from earlier today:

19:59Harry Leach

Bus services accept rail tickets

A number of National Express bus services are accepting rail tickets.

See below for a list of bus services accepting rail tickets:

Rail Ticket Acceptance

National Express are accepting rail tickets on the following :

8A/C, 14, 28, 65, 66, 67, 907, 907A, X3, X4, X5, 94, 95, X14, 77/A, X15

Until 10AM Friday 22/12/2023

— NX West Midlands (@nxwestmidlands) December 21, 2023[3]

19:32Harry Leach

Fallen tree blocks road in Shropshire

A West Mercia Police spokesperson said: "Tree down at B4363, from Deuxhill to Marlbrook Bridge, Bridgnorth, in Shropshire. Highways dealing."

The force warned drivers to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

19:09Harry Leach

Train service cancelled

Trains services between New Street and Lichfield City have been cancelled today. It's understood they should be back up and running tomorrow.

A West Midlands Railway spokesperson said: "Ticket acceptance on National Express buses remains in place."

18:44Harry Leach

Storm Pia recap

Here is a recap of our stories covering Storm Pia from earlier today:

18:01Harry Leach

New Street 'sorry' for disruption

New Street Station has apologised over travel disruption. A spokesperson said: "We’re really sorry to West Midlands Railway passengers affected by disruption.

"Please see http://nationalrail.co.uk[4] for the latest journey advice."

(Image: Birmingham Mail)

16:52Harry Leach

Watch planes struggling to land at Birmingham Airport

Terrifying footage shows planes struggling to land at Birmingham Airport as Storm Pia batters the country. Gusts of up to 80mph have hit parts of the country today with dozens of flights and rail journeys cancelled.

Click here[5] to watch the footage.

16:29Harry Leach

London passengers facing travel chaos

Passengers in London are facing travel chaos, reports The Standard.[6] Trains were being cancelled from Euston.

A last-minute Eurostar strike was also affecting travel at St Pancras.

Click here[7] to

16:14Harry Leach

Most train lines reopened - West Midlands Railway

West Midlands Railway has said most lines have reopened after tracks were blocked by fallen trees. The operator said: "All trees have been removed and lines reopened, except between New Street and Four Oaks."

#WMRUPDATE[8] - All trees have been removed and lines reopened, except between New St and Four Oaks.

Services are suspended between New St and Lichfield City till the end of day.

Ticket acceptance @NXWestMidlands and replacement buses from Sutton to Lichfield. https://t.co/Ehc2D0DlEn[9][10]

— West Midlands Railway (@WestMidRailway) December 21, 2023[11]

15:53Harry Leach

Power cables and tree block Shropshire road

Power cables and a fallen tree have blocked a road in Shropshire. Goldstone Road is currently shut, police said.

Goldstone Road, Hinstock #Shropshire is currently blocked due to a fallen tree and power cables. Near to the Goldstone Hotel. Highways are aware. #StormPia[12][13]

— West Mercia Operations & Communications Centre (@WestMerciaOCC) December 21, 2023[14]

15:38Harry Leach

Tree blocks major route

Police have warned that the A4103 is partially blocked at Cradley due to a fallen tree. Motorists were urged to drive with caution.

A4103 Herford to Worcester road is partially blocked at Cradley due to a fallen tree. Highways are aware, please approach with caution. #StormPia[15]

— West Mercia Operations & Communications Centre (@WestMerciaOCC) December 21, 2023[16]

14:40 birminghammail.co.uk

Wrap up of rail disruption

A number of train services in the West Midlands were cancelled or delayed this afternoon after tracks were blocked by fallen trees. Strong winds in the region caused havoc to public transport.

Some services from Birmingham New Street[17] were severely affected. The busy station said at 1.46pm today that workers were "responding to a number of incidents across the network". It added that affected lines will reopen when safe to do so.

We have a full report of all the closures here.[18]

14:25 birminghammail.co.uk

Fallen Tree blocking Halesowen route

The winds are not letting up. The A458 Windmill Hill in Halesowen is blocked due to a fallen tree around the Beecher Road junction.

This incident is also impacting Drews Holloway with congestion building on this route.

The number 9 will be diverting in both directions via: Colley Lane, Butchers Lane and Corngreaves Road. Allow extra time to travel and consider alternative routes

Windmill Hill, Halesowen (Image: Google Street)

13:38 birminghammail.co.uk

A list of regional train disruptions

Storm Pia is causing havoc on our railway system. The strong winds have blown trees down on lines, resulting in delays or cancellations.

Services are currently suspended between:

Aston and Lichfield City

Tyseley and Stratford-upon-Avon via Whitlocks End

Hednesford and Rugeley TV

Worcester and Hereford

Coventry and Nuneaton

Click here for more information[19] about managing your travel today.

13:24 birminghammail.co.uk

Planes struggle to land at Birmingham Airport during Storm Pia

Our photograpaher has been filming planes trying to land at Birmingham Airport in winds of up to 50mph.

This video shows aircraft gently swaying in the gusts before making a safe landing. No delays were reported at the airport.

13:17 birminghammail.co.uk

Problems on train services between B'ham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End

A fallen tree has blocked the railway between B'ham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End. Due to the high winds, the tree below fell onto the line at Spring Road.

Network Rail are working to clear the line.

#WMRUPDATE[20] 3 - Tree blocking the railway between B'ham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End

Due to the high winds, the tree below fell onto the line at Spring Road. Network Rail are working to clear the line.

Services will remain disrupted through the early afternoon. https://t.co/FK2Q6G5cBz pic.twitter.com/DDvfXesuXt[21][22]

— West Midlands Railway (@WestMidRailway) December 21, 2023[23]

13:13 birminghammail.co.uk

More trouble on the tracks

There is a tree on line between Birmingham New St and Four Oaks stations. Services are cancelled between Birmingham New St and Lichfield City.Other services on the Cross City lines are subject to delay, cancellation and alterations.

12:29 birminghammail.co.uk

Railway disruption

There is no service on the West Midlands Railway between Coventry and Nuneaton due to fallen tree on the line.

There is also problems on the line running from Hednesford and Rugeley Trent Valley due to winds. Please check before you travel.

12:03 birminghammail.co.uk

Tree blocking route from Snow Hill

A fallen tree is blocking the railway between Bimingham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End. Trains running on the Snow Hill line may be cancelled, delayed or diverted.

#WMRNEW[24] - Tree blocking the railway between Bimingham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End

Trains running on the #SnowHill[25] line may be cancelled, delayed or diverted.

Ticket acceptance on @nxwestmidlands[26] via any reasonable route.

ℹ️ Planner > https://t.co/fLFM8ewkOu[27]

— West Midlands Railway (@WestMidRailway) December 21, 2023[28]

11:31 birminghammail.co.uk

Uprooted tree lands on bungalow

A pensioner was treated by paramedics after strong winds caused a tree to uproot and land on her bungalow. The large tree came crashing down across the Roundabout in Longbridge, around 7.20am on Thursday (Dec 21).

Paramedics treated the woman, said to be in her 70s, for shock. Meanwhile fire fighters have been working to remove the stricken tree from the road.

We have a full story here.[29]

11:02 birminghammail.co.uk

Ride disruption at Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor is open as usual but visitors are being warned to expect some delays with the rides due to the strong winds.

Visitor update - Thursday 21st December pic.twitter.com/ZLowJr3aR3[30]

— Drayton Manor (@DraytonManor) December 21, 2023[31]

10:33 birminghammail.co.uk

Four miles of congestion on M6 due to fallen lamppost

There are currently two lanes closed on the M6 southbound between J9 and J8 due to a fallen down lamppost. There is approx. four miles of congestion on the approach to the closure.

Drivers are facing an additonal 30 minutes to their normal journey times.

2 lanes (of 4) are closed on the #M6[32] southbound between J9 #Wednesbury[33] and J8 (#M5[34]) due to a fallen down lamppost which is blocking the lanes

There is approx. 4 miles of congestion on the approach to the closure, which adds about 30 minutes to normal journey times pic.twitter.com/vijj8W8IVb[35]

— National Highways: West Midlands (@HighwaysWMIDS) December 21, 2023[36]

10:16 birminghammail.co.uk

Residents using a ladder to climb over blocked tree in Northfield

A huge falled tree is still blocking the Roundabout in Northfield. I am told that locals are using a ladder to climb over the the other side, helped by fire crews.

The tree has fallen close to the junction of the Roundabout and Bristol Road.

Aucklands Drive (Image: Katie Kates)

09:49Matt LLoyd

Storm Pia disruption times

You might be hitting the road today on your Christmas travels. Storm Pia is expected to cause disruption in various parts of the UK.

We;ve got the forecast showing when winds will be at their worst over the coming hours. You can read the full story here.[37]

09:39 birminghammail.co.uk

A reminder of our new WhatsApp service

We have launched a new WhatsApp service where you can get all the breaking news direct and never miss a thing.

Sign up here: Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp[38]

09:24 birminghammail.co.uk

Warning from Network Rail to train travellers

Network Rail is warning passengers to check ahead of their journeys incase of delays. So far rail services have been running smoothly in the region.

Elsewhere, the Collector Road is closed in the direction of the Fort due to an unstable lamppost.

A fallen tree has blocked access to the Roundabout in Northfield. The council's highways department is dealing with stricken trees and branches.

09:19 birminghammail.co.uk

Weather forecast for the rest of the day - windy !

Birmingham is being battered by 51mph gusts. The Met Office forecast for the day is dry, sunny, with temperatures climbing to 11C.

But gusts of wind will remain high into the afternoon ranging between 45mph and 51mph between 8am and 3pm.

Take care !

09:05 birminghammail.co.uk

Police on scene at Collector Road, Castle Bromwich

The Collector Road in Castle Bromwich is currently closed in one direction. Police have blocked off the Fort-bound side of the route due to an unstable lamppost.

A section of the Collector Road is currently closed (Image: Brooke Nason)

09:00Matt LLoyd

Met Office wind map

As it stands, winds are forecast to hit gusts of 53mph at around 10am as shown by the Met Office map below.

It shows winds speeds across our area forecast in the next hour or so.

Met Office wind map showing forecast wind gusts at 10am on Thursday December 21

08:57 birminghammail.co.uk

Reports of flying wheelie bins and trampolines

Make sure to sure weight down your trampolines and secure your wheelie bins too. This runaway trampoline is doing the rounds in Castle Bromwich.

Aucklands Close, Castle Bromwich (Image: Brooke Nason)

References

  1. ^ Roundabout estate in Northfield. (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ BirminghamLive WhatsApp (chat.whatsapp.com)
  3. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  4. ^ http://nationalrail.co.uk (t.co)
  5. ^ Click here (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  6. ^ reports The Standard. (www.standard.co.uk)
  7. ^ Click here (www.standard.co.uk)
  8. ^ #WMRUPDATE (twitter.com)
  9. ^ @NXWestMidlands (twitter.com)
  10. ^ https://t.co/Ehc2D0DlEn (t.co)
  11. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  12. ^ #Shropshire (twitter.com)
  13. ^ #StormPia (twitter.com)
  14. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  15. ^ #StormPia (twitter.com)
  16. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  17. ^ Birmingham New Street (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  18. ^ here. (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  19. ^ information (www.nationalrail.co.uk)
  20. ^ #WMRUPDATE (twitter.com)
  21. ^ https://t.co/FK2Q6G5cBz (t.co)
  22. ^ pic.twitter.com/DDvfXesuXt (t.co)
  23. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  24. ^ #WMRNEW (twitter.com)
  25. ^ #SnowHill (twitter.com)
  26. ^ @nxwestmidlands (twitter.com)
  27. ^ https://t.co/fLFM8ewkOu (t.co)
  28. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  29. ^ here. (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  30. ^ pic.twitter.com/ZLowJr3aR3 (t.co)
  31. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  32. ^ #M6 (twitter.com)
  33. ^ #Wednesbury (twitter.com)
  34. ^ #M5 (twitter.com)
  35. ^ pic.twitter.com/vijj8W8IVb (t.co)
  36. ^ December 21, 2023 (twitter.com)
  37. ^ full story here. (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  38. ^ BirminghamLive WhatsApp (chat.whatsapp.com)

High winds hit Midlands rail services as trees bring down power lines

The disruption comes as the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning[1] for parts of the West Midlands, with strong winds forecast throughout the day. Rail passengers travelling between Hednesford and Rugeley were warned of disruption to their journeys as a result of a tree on the tracks.

West Midlands Railway reported the problem at around 12.30pm on Thursday.

The rail company advised that trains running between the two stations could be subject to cancellation or may terminate at Hednesford.

Rail replacement buses have been put in place to ease disruption.

Services were also cancelled between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield City at around 1pm due to a tree on the line.

West Midlands Railway said the tree had fallen near to Wylde Green.

National Express West Midlands is accepting rail tickets across a number of its services including on the X3, which runs between Birmingham and Lichfield.

Staffordshire County Council said its highways crews from had already had more than 50 storm-related emergency enquiries on Thursday morning, most of which related to fallen trees.

Power lines were down on Sandon Bank in Stafford.

Elsewhere on the Midlands rail network, West Midlands Railway reported that a tree was blocking the line between Birmingham Snow Hill and Whitlocks End. A spokesperson said: "Due to the high winds, the tree below fell onto the line at Spring Road. Network Rail are working to clear the line.

"Services will remain disrupted through the early afternoon."

References

  1. ^ Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning (www.expressandstar.com)

Live: A38 shut as emergency services descend on ‘serious collision’

Emergency services have been called to a 'serious collision' on the A38. The incident has left the route shut near Branston with police saying the smash has taken place at Shobnall Bridge.

Meanwhile National Highways says collision investigators are on the scene with a diversion in place. Traffic monitoring system Inrix created the alert at around 8.10am.

It stated: "A38 Lichfield Road in both directions blocked, queueing traffic due to serious accident, a lorry involved between A5121 (Clay Mills) and A5121 (Branston Interchange). Closed through Burton between the two main junctions. Diversion - using the A5121 through Burton itself with Southbound following Hollow Circles and Northbound following Hollow Triangle signs."

National Highways say it's likely to be shut until the afternoon. A spokesperson said: "The A38 in Staffordshire is closed in both directions between the A5121 (north) and the A5121 (south) near Branston due to serious collision. Staffordshire Police remain in attendance to carry out collision investigations. National Highways contractors will be assisting with traffic management." It is expected that the road will remain closed until this afternoon."

Neighbourhood officers have urged motorists to avoid the area. A spokesperson for East Staffordshire Local Policing Team said: "We are dealing with a serious road traffic collision on the A38 at Shobnall Bridge. The road has been closed in both directions and is likely to be closed until later tonight. Please avoid the area if you can."

We will provide updates in our dedicated blog below.

We visit one of the most dangerous roads in Birmingham & nearly …

‘Drivers don’t care about pedestrians’ - Birmingham Hay Mills residents speak out months after a child’s death on a neighbourhood road

Watch more of our videos on Shots!  and live on Freeview channel 276

Visit Shots! now[1]

Hay Mills in east Birmingham looks like any other neighbourhood in the city. In the morning, residents can be seen rushing to get to work, as parents urge kids to walk faster to get to the primary school nearby, and workers unload wares to take into shops. 

However, a thought lingers at the back of their minds: ‘Will the oncoming traffic stop long enough for us to cross the road safely?’ 

Only a few months ago, in the summer, a 12-year-old child - Azaan Khan[2] - lost his life in a road traffic collision[3] while riding his bicycle on Coventry Road - which passes through Hay Mills. 

A vigil was held in his memory by the community, who are still waiting to see real change. 

Azaan's death wasn't the only one that shook communities across Birmingham[4] in the summer. He was one of seven people, including four cyclists, who died in seven weeks on Birmingham roads between the beginning of May and the third week of June.

Since then, a community organisation, Better Streets for Birmingham, has been campaigning for safer roads free of dangerous driving. They have hosted several demonstrations on popular roads including Belgrave Middleway, Harborne High Street, and Kings Heath to highlight the “epidemic” of dangerous driving. 

Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay MillsBetter Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills Better Streets for Birmingham demonstration in Hay Mills

‘Drivers don’t care about pedestrians’

I visited Hay Mills through which the 40mph Coventry Road/A45 passes and spoke to residents about what it’s like to live there. 

I took a Number 60 NXWM bus from Moor Street St to Kings Road bus stop on Wednesday morning (November 22) and the commute was a long one for the amount of distance. It’s just a little over three miles but the road works on the route and heavy traffic increases the travel time.   

The congestion eased off the closer we got to Hay Mills as the road broadened into a dual carriageway. 

On reaching my destination, I headed to the junction opposite Redhill Primary School. The busy traffic zoomed past on Coventry Road in front of me, however, when cars wanted to turn into Berkeley Road, it was obvious that there was a potential risk for the safety of pedestrians. 

Cars have to slow down to 30mph while going into Berkeley Road, but residents hoping to cross the road have no pedestrian lights to aid them. When I crossed Berkeley Road, a van was already moving into it while I was still crossing, almost knocking me over. And, the same happened to several others people looking to cross the road, within an hour’s time. 

However, this wasn’t even the scariest part. Residents I spoke to opened up about their fears of crossing Coventry Road to get to the other side - where the school is.   

One parent, Ghulam Abbas, told me: “The public is not caring about the pedestrians, they can crush everyone. I think the speed should be 30mph. U-turn is forbidden here as you can see, but drivers still do it. They don't care about the pedestrians. Even sometimes when a pedestrian is crossing, they will not stop.”

Coventry Road in Hay Mills Coventry Road in Hay Mills Coventry Road in Hay Mills

As he pointed out the U-turn forbidden sign to me, a car made an illegal turn in front of our eyes. Ghulam said: “You can see what it’s like.” 

He added: “It’s not just about children but also parents and the elderly. We are also worried when we cross, we don't feel safe. Actually, the main thing is that everyone who is crossing this junction is not feeling safe.” 

“We complained to the [Redhill Primary] school and we did so many protests as well, but nothing changed. They said there are no funds for a traffic warden.” 

Another parent, Mohammed, who has 10 and 11 year old children, told me: “This junction is too difficult to cross. The 40mph speed limit is fine but something needs to change since there is a school nearby.” 

One cyclist, Paul, who was cycling on the pavement on his way to work said: “This is a very bad road and that is why I won’t ride on it.” 

Local resident, MohammedLocal resident, Mohammed Local resident, Mohammed

Further down the road, 83-year-old Blossom Williams, who is a longtime resident of Hay Mills said: “Sometimes, the cars drive too fast. Sometimes, when you are on this stop and one side is giving way when it's your turn to cross and another car will just zip across. 

“So, you gotta be careful when you cross the pedestrian crossing even though the lights are there that say go. You know, especially at my age. I don’t tend to walk even when it says stop and instead, just hurry across as fast as possible.” 

Being able to go about our daily lives safely seems like a no-brainer but the community, especially pedestrians and cyclists, in Hay Mills are still waiting for measures to keep their families, friends and themselves safe.  

Redhill Primary School have been contacted for their comment. 

What is being done to make Birmingham’s road safer?

Mat MacDonald, the co-chair of Better Streets for Birmingham, told BirminghamWorld: “The arterial roads in Birmingham, including the one in Hay Mills, are the dangerous ones for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Shivaji Shiva, of Better Streets for Birmingham, had previously said: “We’re demanding the council recognises this situation for the emergency that it is, and to use all the powers it has to address it.

“We want to see a serious police response to the extraordinarily bad driving causing immense strain on our streets. We want that action – and we’d like to see it now.”

Taking note of the residents’ concerns, West Midlands Police launched Operation Triton to tackle dangerous driving but residents want more to be done. 

Operation Triton launched in August in a coordinated response by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Police (WMP), Birmingham City Council, and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner. 

Since August, hundreds of careless and dangerous motorists have been caught by footage sent to the police by the public as part of a crackdown, according to West Midlands Combined Authority[5].

In October alone, 734 cases were submitted by people and just over 80% resulted in drivers either receiving warning letters, education courses, fines, or court appearances. 

The Birmingham City Council also plans to take action by reducing the speed limit to 30mph on 25 main roads that currently have a speed limit of 40mph. Following concerns about dangerous and anti-social behaviour from drivers, the council committed to reducing speed limits across the city pending consultation.

They say they want to reduce speed, improve road safety and encourage active travel such as walking and cycling. 

 Cllr Liz Clements, cabinet member for transport, told BirminghamWorld: “We need to prioritise people and ensure communities are safer so reducing the speed on our roads is an obvious and important part of our wider plans for how people and goods move around the city and we know that residents are deeply concerned about road safety, especially those who live near busy main roads."

Here are the 25 Birmingham roads that could see the speed limit drop from 40mph to 30mph

  • A34 Walsall Road, Perry Barr, Old Walsall Road to Old Park Walk (near Bartons Arms)

  • A4041 Queslett Road/Queslett Road East, Perry Barr/Oscott/Sutton Vesey, Chester Road North to Hamble Road (approaching Scott Arms)

  • A452 Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield/Erdington/Pype Hayes/Castle Vale, Greenway Drive to city boundary

  • A5127 Lichfield Road, Sutton Mere Green, Bishops Way to Blake Street (city boundary)

  • Webster Way, Sutton Walmley & Minworth, Walmley Ash Road to Thimble End Road

  • Ox Leys Road, Sutton Walmley & Minworth, Springfield Road to Fox Hollies Road

  • Walmley Ash Lane/ Cottage Lane, Sutton Walmley & Minworth, Walmley Ash Road to Lindridge Drive

  • A38/B4148 Tyburn Road, Gravelly Hill, Salford Circus to Chester Road

  • B4148 Eachelhurst Road, Sutton Walmley & Minworth/Pype Hayes, Chester Road to railway bridge

  • A38 Kingsbury Road, Erdington/Pype Hayes, Tyburn Road to Minworth Island (also short section of A4097 Kingsbury Road)

  • A4097 Kingsbury Road, Castle Vale/Pype Hayes/Sutton Coldfield, Wiggins Hill Road to city boundary

  • A452 Chester Road, Castle Vale/Pype Hayes/Sutton Vesey, from the new Aldi just before the Tyburn House pub down to Newport Road

  • B4147 Newport Road, Castle Vale/Pype Hayes/Sutton Vesey, Chester Road to Coleshill Road

  • A47 Heartlands / Fort Parkway, Erdington/Castle Vale, Saltley Viaduct to Chester Road (Spitfire Island)

  • A47 Nechells Parkway, Nechells, Ring Road to Goodrick Way including the end of Jennens Road

  • A4540 Ring Road, Multiple wards, full length except where already 30mph

  • A45 Small Heath Highway, Bordesley Green/Small Heath, just east of rail bridge to Heybarnes Circus

  • A45 Coventry Road, Tyseley & Hay Mills/South Yardley, Heybarnes Circus to city boundary at Hatchford Brook

  • Monmouth Drive, Sutton Vesey, Somerville Road through to Chester Road

  • Weeford Road, Sutton Roughley, Tamworth Road to just before Camp Road

  • A441 Redditch Road, Kings Norton/Longbridge & West Heath, Burford Park Road to city boundary at Longbridge Lane

  • A38 Bristol Road South, Rubery/Rednal, Great Park to city boundary at Leach Green Lane

  • B4121 Wolverhampton Road South, West Boulevard, Barnes Hill, Shenley Lane, Allens Cross/Bartley Green/Weoley & Selly Oak/Quinton/Harborne, Hagley Road West to near Burdock Road

  • A456 Hagley Road West, Quinton, Lordswood Road to Quinton Road

  • A41 Hockley Flyover, Newtown/Soho & Jewellery Quarter/Lozells, Key Hill to Soho

References

  1. ^ Visit Shots! now (www.shotstv.com)
  2. ^ Azaan Khan (www.birminghamworld.uk)
  3. ^ road traffic collision (www.birminghamworld.uk)
  4. ^ Birmingham (www.birminghamworld.uk)
  5. ^ West Midlands Combined Authority (www.birminghamworld.uk)