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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 11:58 GMT
Travellers suffer in storms' wake
Workmen clear fallen tree from track near Sutton Coldfield
Reduced services are running while the clear up operation takes place
Disruption caused by the UK's strongest storms in 17 years is continuing to affect travel across the country.

Ten people died and thousands of homes were left without power as gusts of up to 99mph battered the UK on Thursday.

The BBC Weather Centre said the worst of the storms had passed, although 60mph gales were forecast for Scotland.

Rail and air passengers were warned to expect delays and cancellations while thousands of homeowners are still waiting for their power to be restored.

An overnight clean-up of fallen trees and overturned vehicles took place on the roads while engineers repaired overhead power lines on the railways.

Flooding

Most rail services have since returned to normal, although there is some disruption.

  • Two trains will run every hour between London Kings Cross and Newcastle, with one going on to Edinburgh
  • An hourly GNER train shuttle service will run between Doncaster and Leeds
  • In Scotland there will also be a revised GNER timetable, connecting with First Scot Rail services
  • Virgin Trains West Coast is running an emergency timetable
  • Arriva Trains Wales says the line is closed due to flooding between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • The Stansted Express is operating every half hour
  • Delays and cancellations are occurring to Southeastern Trains services between London Bridge and Kent stations
  • London Bridge station, where part of the station forecourt roof collapsed, has reopened
  • Eurostar has resumed a full service

A Eurostar spokesman said: "We're running all right today and the trains are very full, as a number of passengers were unable to travel with us yesterday."

Thirty-four incoming BA flights to Heathrow and Gatwick airports have been cancelled, mostly because aircraft were not in place after Thursday's delays.

The Highways Agency said there were no major problems on the roads, although a number of A-roads are thought to have sections closed due to fallen trees, flooding or accidents.

Schools

Many thousands of properties are still without power.

In the West Midlands, power has been restored to 200,000 properties but 16,500 are still without.

And in Wales, half of the 30,000 properties where power went down, are still waiting for it to be restored. Among them are several schools which have been closed for the day.

Scottish Power, which manages lines in parts of mid and north Wales, said it had brought in 300 extra staff but warned not all faults would be repaired before Saturday.

Homeowners were also counting the cost of the gales which damaged gates and fences, and blew over trees.

Insurance companies have drafted in extra staff to deal with an influx of calls.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I finally got home after seeing abandoned cars, crashes, trees down and floods three-and three-quarters hours later
Amanda Downey, Wigan

Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers, told BBC's Radio Five Live that household buildings and contents insurance will cover damage to most property.

But he added: "You may find that storm damage to gates and fences, which don't tend to be particularly stable at the best of times, may not be covered."

On damage to vehicles, he said comprehensive insurance would cover the effects of the storms, but "If you've only got third-party, fire and theft the answer, I'm afraid, is no."

Rob McElwee, of the BBC Weather Centre, said the storm passed into Germany overnight leaving sunshine and some rain expected in the UK.

The weekend would be colder with more wintry weather later, he said.




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