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Weather causing travel chaos - and conditions expected to worsen
Updated 9:39am Monday 23rd December 2013 in News
Strong winds and heavy rain are causing chaos on the roads and trains this morning, with conditions expected to worsen as the day goes on.
The current weather forecast indicates that winds with guests of more than 70mph are expected in some parts of the south west and southern England, with heavy rain adding to the disruption.
This is expected to continue into the early hours of Christmas Eve.
As a result of the forecast – and in particular the expected strong winds – Network Rail has this morning announced that it will be imposing a speed restriction on many of the routes over which First Great Western operate.
First Great Western's high speed services are expected to be severely affected by the restriction, along with other branch line and mainline services. A spokesperson said: “Journey times on all routes will be significantly extended.”
In a bid to avoid extensive disruption later, customers holding tickets for departures after midday today, and those dated for travel tomorrow, are able to travel on earlier services if they wish.
However, passengers have been warned that in most cases these trains are expected to be very busy and a seat cannot be guaranteed.
Where customers have been delayed getting to the station, or on other train operators services, and have missed their booked First Great Western service, they will be allowed to travel on the next service, irrespective of the type of ticket held.
Elsewhere the St Mawes Passenger Ferry has cancelled all sailing between St Mawes and Falmouth, with the King Harry Ferry at Trelissick also cancelled.
There are currently no significant problems reported at Newquay Airport.
The Met Office has issued with south west with an amber weather warning, with a spell of heavy rainfall expected.
A spokesperson said: "This will fall onto saturated ground and lead to a risk of some flooding. Gale to severe gale force winds will be an added hazard, with the potential for very strong gusts across coastal areas.
"The public should be prepared for the likelihood of some significant disruption due to the combined hazards of heavy rainfall and high winds."
Rain is expected to die out tomorrow and winds to moderate, with no weather warnings in place for Christmas Day.
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