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Storm Ciara: Passengers warned not to travel amid transport chaos
9 February 2020, 20:21 | Updated: 9 February 2020, 20:26
Storm Ciara is causing travel chaos across the country as severe rain and gales batter the whole of the UK.
There are 214 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected and immediate action is required, and 177 alerts, indicating flooding is possible.
An amber weather warning for wind is in place across much of the UK, with gusts of of up to 90mph recorded, reaching 93mph in Aberdaron, north Wales.
But what does this mean for those trying to travel?
Network rail has put a 50mph speed limit on all trains for the whole of Sunday, and has warned against travel unless it is "absolutely necessary".
Gatwick Express, Grand Central, Great Northern, Hull Trains, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, Southern, Thameslink and TransPennine Express have all issued do not travel warnings.
The other affected lines are:
- Avanti West Coast
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Railway
- Great Western Railway
- Greater Anglia
- Heathrow Express
- Hull TrainsIsland Line
- London Northwestern Railway
- London Overground
- South Western Railway
- Stansted Express
- TfL Rail
- Transport for Wales
- West Midlands Railway
There are delays and cancellations across the rail network, with flooding and debris on tracks causing chaos.
This includes a trampoline in Chelsfield, south London, which has caused problems for services from the south east to London and a fallen tree in Gloucester.
In Swanley, a train has been evacuated after a tree fell directly into its path.
Edinburgh Waverly Station has been closed to new passengers due to overcrowding.
East Croydon station is blocked off due to an unsafe roof.
Liverpool Street has cancelled all Greater Anglia trains from the station.
Euston station has been closed due to severe overcrowding, and is now exit only following the disruption.
Grand Central has cancelled all Sunday services.
National rail have advised passengers not to travel between London Paddington and Reading in either direction due to damage to overhead wires.
⚠️🚨 DO NOT TRAVEL 🚨⚠️— London Euston (@NetworkRailEUS) February 9, 2020
This is our latest advice to passengers.
Really sorry, folks, but #StormCiara is making it increasingly difficult to run a reliable railway for you.@nationalrailenq @AvantiWestCoast @LDNOverground @LNRailway @CalSleeper pic.twitter.com/j4y2CGDcBu
The M11 is closed in both directions in Cambridgeshire amid fears airport hangar roof will be blown onto lanes.
It is closed at Duxford airfield, which is also home to IWM Duxford, between junctions 9 and 10.
Highways England tweeted: "M11 is being closed in both directions between J9 and J10 - at Duxford airfield an aircraft hangars roof has been damaged in the wind and is likely to be blown on to the motorway - please avoid the area #StumpsCross #Whittlesford #Royston."
Drivers have been warned they face treacherous conditions with reports of fallen trees and other debris blocking roads, while firefighters in Blackpool had to rescue a motorist whose car got stuck in deep floodwater.
Police in North Yorkshire warned drivers not to travel unless it was essential as widespread flooding affected major routes including the A64 and A1(M).
Traffic officers said there was a significant amount of standing water, making them hazardous.
Roads Policing Sergeant Neale Rees said: "Hours of extremely heavy rain have taken a toll on our road network, and in many places water is pooling faster than it can drain.
"This includes major trunk roads across the region.
"We are now advising motorists to avoid all non-essential travel until conditions improve.
"If your journey is absolutely unavoidable, please exercise extreme caution."
Dozens of domestic and international flights have been cancelled.
A flight leaving Heathrow for Perth, Australia is returning to Heathrow after a suspected tail strike in take off. It is still circling the airport in a holding pattern waiting to land.
Heathrow aiport said it has taken the joint decision with airlines to operate a reduced timetable.
British Airways has cancelled multiple flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airport. Virgin Atlantic has also cancelled flights.
The airline also recorded its fastest ever New York-London flight after reaching speeds of more than 800mph due to tailwinds.
Dover and Calais are both closed with all services suspended.
DFDS has also cancelled all ferries between Newhaven and Dieppe.
P&O said all services at the Port of Dover were suspended due to strong winds and Mersey Ferries cancelled all services until further notice.