Storm Arwen causes major disruption with road closures and train cancellations

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People across the UK have been faced with travel disruption as Storm Arwen led to the closure of roads and rail routes.

The Met Office had issued weather warnings overnight and in the early hours of Saturday, with parts of the country seeing 100mph gales and snow.

National Rail has a warning on its website saying “severe weather” has affected rail routes in England, Scotland and Wales, urging customers to “check” services before travelling.

CrossCountry trains said the line between Newcastle and Edinburgh is closed all day, while other lines have been affected by trees and debris on the tracks.

Autumn weather Nov 27th 2021
Strong gales and snow have hit parts of the UK (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Grand Central, London North Eastern Railway, Lumo, Northern and TransPennine Express services all advised passengers “not to travel” across the north-east of England on Saturday.

Great Western Railway said lines in Wales have been “blocked”, while many Transport for Wales rail services have been suspended.

All Avanti West Coast services north of Carlisle were cancelled on Saturday, 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.

East Midlands Railway, Northern Rail, South Western Railway, Merseyrail services also had delays and cancellations, with some being affected by a number of trees on the network.

Chris Halpin, of Network Rail, said: “I’m afraid Storm Arwen is causing lots of disruption across the railway network and we’re working as fast as we can to try and deal with it.

“But our advice to people today is to please check before you travel because there are major problems and disruption to trains and services across the country.

“Now we’ve had very strong winds overnight and we’ve also had wintry weather which has blocked some lines.

“It’s caused trees to come down on parts of the network and we’ve also got freezing conditions as well.

“Our extreme weather actions teams are out trying to fix the problems as quickly as they can to get people back on the move, but our advice to everyone today is to please check before you travel.”

Councils and police forces have also reported a number of road closures due to fallen trees or snow.

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

Social media footage appeared to show a number of lorries and cars stuck on roads where snow had fallen, with ploughs being deployed in a number of areas.

In Scotland, part of the A1 in East Lothian, between Haddington and the Thistly Cross roundabout, had to close due to high winds.

The Friday evening closure led to major delays in the area with motorists having to wait up to 45 minutes in queues.

Travel watchdog Traffic Scotland reported multiple trees falling on the A9 causing road blockages, and confirmed the A86 had to close due to the extreme weather.

Autumn weather Nov 27th 2021
Road closures have been reported due to fallen trees (Nick Potts/PA)

Sports fans were among those affected, with Liverpool advising fans to “arrive early” due to disruption to travel routes around Anfield ahead of the match against Southampton at 3pm.

TransPennine Express also advised Middleborough supporters travelling to Huddersfield not to go by train.

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