Storm Arwen: Hundreds of passengers hit by delays at Stansted & trains cancelled as 100mph winds bring travel chaos

Storm Arwen: Hundreds of passengers hit by delays at Stansted & trains cancelled as 100mph winds bring travel chaos


BRITS are facing travel chaos today as Storm Arwen lashes the country with 100mph winds.

Trains have been cancelled and hundreds of passengers have faced long delays at Stansted as blizzards and gales blast in.

Three people have died in the tempest in Aberdeenshire, Northern Ireland and Cumbria, while almost 150,000 homes are without power today.

A rare red warning, issued by the Met Office for parts of north-east England, has now expired – but amber and yellow warnings remain in place across large swathes of the country.

And police have urged people to stay at home with disruption for anyone attempting to travel.

All Avanti West Coast services north of Carlisle are cancelled, with customers "strongly advised" not to attempt to travel on the route.

Other services are running but may be subject to delays of 120 minutes.

ScotRail services were disrupted between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street, Dunblane and Stirling after a barn was blown on to the line close to Polmont, near Falkirk.

TransPennine Express customers were urged not to travel, with services between Newcastle and Edinburgh cancelled.


South Western Railway has warned of "multiple trees and obstructions blocking the railway", while London North East Railway urged customers not to travel north of York due to "significant damage".

Flight trackers show 'excessive' disruption at Aberdeen International Airport, with a BA flight to Heathrow and an Eastern Airways service to the Shetland Islands cancelled altogether.

Five flights are heavily delayed.

There are also long delays at the Isle of Man Airport, Newcastle International Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and Birmingham International Airport.

Some furious passengers have hit out after their planes were diverted to London's Stansted.

Jets to Liverpool and Dublin were forced to land on the tarmac in Essex.

And those onboard say they're facing trouble with trains too – meaning they're temporarily stranded in the storm.

Others said they'd faced nine-hour waits at the airport with planes unable to take off in the high winds.


Ryanair and EasyJet customers are among those affected.

One said: "Ryanair have had hundreds of people stranded at Stansted for four-plus hours now.

"Not one member of staff has told us what's happening.

"An elderly man asked for a drink and the staff said no. Told at midnight to expect a coach, it didn't happen."

Another said: "Two landings aborted a Manchester Airport to eventually get diverted to Stansted, where we currently are waiting in the snow on a taxi for the four-hour drive up at 3am for £500."

A traveller returning to Manchester on a Ryanair flight spoke of the "scariest landing ever" at midnight.

He said: "So just been on the most scariest landing ever in sleet.

"Landed at Manchester from Tenerife, they were almost was going to abandon and land at Stansted.

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"Landed on the second attempt – give pilot Chris a raise."

Marco Petagna, a Met Office forecaster, said wind speeds are above 90mph in some areas of the UK.

"We've seen some pretty severe gusts overnight with the highest speeds hitting 98mph at Brizlee Wood in Northumberland," he said.

"Elsewhere, exposed sites in Scotland and Northern Ireland also surpassed 90mph, with 70-80mph seen more widely in the north of the UK, though parts of southern England and Wales also felt the effects of the storm.

"This has been coupled with a few inches of snow which has fallen in some areas.

"In the higher ground areas of Scotland we expected to see up to 15cm falling but the strong winds meant the snow blew around and created a blizzard in some parts."

The situation is little better on the roads.

Dorset Council reported that trees and power cables had fallen on carriageways in the area, while road closures were reported more widely in the worst-affected parts of northern England and Scotland.


Many have left lorries and cars and walked home on foot after getting stranded.

In Northumberland, Co. Durham and Tyne and Wear, 55,000 Northern Powergrid customers are without power.

Power cuts were also reported in Scotland, while thousands of properties managed by Electricity North West in Cumbria and Lancashire have also been affected.

Mr Petagna said: "There has been plenty of disruption caused by these severe gales, stretching down from south-west England and as far as northern parts of Scotland.

"But I have to say we've seen the worst of the weather and things will start to fizzle out over Saturday, though people will still see snow and fairly strong gales."

Amber wind warnings are in place for Saturday morning in south-west and north-east England, while a yellow warning stretches across central England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and is expected to last until 6pm.

It means people should expect gusts in excess of 70mph, bringing further disruption with more power cuts, flying debris and travel delays.

The Met Office warned that north-east and north-west England, the West Midlands and the East Midlands will experience cold weather until Monday.

Snow warnings remain in place across large parts of England, including the South East, and Scotland as a cold northerly airflow moves across the country, with up to 5cm expected.

Mr Petagna said a yellow warning for ice is likely to be issued for northern England and Scotland on Saturday.

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