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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Simon Calder

Travel misery continues for millions as Met Office warns of more extreme weather


After a miserable weekend for travellers in large parts of the UK, the working week has begun with more disruption.

Thousands of airline passengers woke up on Monday morning where they did not intend to be after dozens of weekend flight cancellations.

Rail firms are warning of major disruption on day four of an overtime ban by train drivers.

Britain’s flagship rail link, the East Coast main line from Scotland, northeast Engand and Yorkshire to London, has seen cancellations and curtailments due to “a shortage of train crew” and flooding is causing delays in the Grantham area.

The line from Axminster in Devon and Crewkerne in Somerset is closed because of flooding.

Some roads in Cumbria and the Peak District are blocked due to snow, and the Met Office has issued four yellow weather warnings:

  • Eastern Scotland for ice.
  • Northern England from south of the M62 to the Scottish border for snow.
  • North East Wales for snow.
  • A triangle of the Midlands, southeast Wales and southern England with Birmingham, Plymouth and Brighton at the corners, for rain.

Roads, railways and airports were in disarray on Saturday and Sunday due to extreme weather and industrial action by train drivers.

Saturday dawned with heavy snow at Glasgow airport, with many delays, diversions and cancellations – including one with more than 100 children on board heading for Finnish Lapland to meet Santa. They waited on board for a couple of hours, hoping their dawn flight would finally depart, but finally it reached the point where they would have arrived at the Arctic after dark, and the flight was abandoned.

Other flights were cancelled to Amsterdam and London Heathrow – and Heathrow itself saw dozens of cancellations on both Saturday and Sunday. One of Germany’s busiest airports, Munich, was closed for most of the weekend, with more than 1,000 flights cancelled.

Problems continuyed at the Bavarian airport on Monday. The airport posted on X/Twitter: “Flight operations still heavily restricted There are still severe restrictions in air traffic. The flight schedule has been greatly reduced due to the airlines’ cancellations.”

Monday is the one day of the week with no regional rail strike by train drivers, but at the UK’s three busiest stations – all in London – the effects of the Aslef union’s latest ban on rest-day working are evident.

  • London Bridge: many Thameslink trains have been cancelled in advance for the duration of the overtime ban, 1-9 December.
  • Victoria: the Gatwick Express is similarly cancelled for the whole spell. Southern stopping services are still available to the airport, but additional cancellations are being made on some lines.
  • Waterloo: South Western Railway is warning of “major disruption” on the main line to Southampton and Bournemouth, and of suburban services in southwest London and Surrey.

Further rail strikes will knock out most or all trains in these regions for the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday 5 December: C2C and Greater Anglia
  • Wednesday 6 December: Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway
  • Thursday 7 December: CrossCountry and GWR
  • Friday 8 December: Northern and TransPennine Trains

Neither ScotRail nor Transport for Wales is involved in the dispute.

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