More travel chaos as Storm Frankin hits rail and road journeys

Many train operators urged passengers not to travel as lines are blocked by fallen trees and flooding due to the stormy weather.

More travel chaos as Storm Frankin hits rail and road journeys

Severe weather brought further chaos to transport networks on Monday, with rail services decimated and major roads closed.

Many train operators urged passengers not to travel as lines are blocked by fallen trees and flooding caused by Storm Franklin.

Northern suspended all services for several hours, telling passengers: “Our advice is not to attempt to travel as we are unable to provide alternative transport.”

Winter weather Feb 19th 2022
Passengers wait at Waterloo station for cancelled or delayed trains in the aftermath of Storm Eunice on Friday (James Manning/PA)

It showed every train as cancelled on its online journey planners despite some services running, in an attempt to reinforce its message.

This led to a series of complaints from passengers on social media.

Mark Evans wrote on Twitter: “Your app was reporting every train cancelled when I checked at 6am. Turns out trains were running (causing me a needless car journey).”

Another passenger, Freddie Errington, wrote: “Paid for a £50 Uber to get to work as I saw trains were cancelled.

“To find out that trains are actually running as normal is insulting.

“I assume @SW_Help will happily reimburse me on the unnecessary cab fare?”

The firm said: “During a period of unpredictable short-notice delays and disruption, we took the decision to remove information from journey planners instead of showing trains that wouldn’t run.

“We are reinstating this information, but services will still be subject to delays and cancellations.”

Other operators which urged passengers not to travel for at least part of the day included CrossCountry, Southeastern, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast.

Southern and Thameslink issued the same message for services south of London.

Network Rail posted a message on its Kent and Sussex Twitter feed which stated: “Our advice is to stay home if you can as disruption is likely to get worse as the day goes on.”

Widespread emergency 50mph speed restrictions have been introduced, causing further delays to journeys.

Transport for London suspended its London Overground trains between Stratford and Richmond, Stratford and Clapham Junction, Romford and Upminster, and Sydenham and West Croydon due to damage caused by severe weather.

Several major road bridges were closed on Monday, including the M48 Severn Bridge connecting England and Wales, and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford Crossing between Kent and Essex.

This caused long delays as motorists sought alternative routes.

The waters of the River Severn edge towards homes in Ironbridge, Shropshire (Nick Potts/PA)

National Highways said the M60 in Greater Manchester was closed between junctions 10 and 11 due to an overturned HGV which had come to rest on the central reservation.

The M6 was closed in Lancashire between junctions 27 and 28 after a lorry hit a bridge and caught fire.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue reported saving a number of people from stranded cars on the A61 at Harewood Bridge, with more reports of roads left impassable due to flash flooding across the region.

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