UK weather: Severe storm subsides and ScotRail resuming while blizzards are set to cover North

Snow up to 15cm is forecast from tomorrow for northern parts of UK

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The Independent Online

A severe storm with winds of up to 140mph, which had left 70,000 people with power cuts and halted journeys on the ScotRail network earlier today, has begun to subside with more routes starting to run while blizzards are forecast for tomorrow.

Tens of thousands of people in Scotland were left without electricity and lorries were overturned on motorways last night due to high-speed winds and adverse driving conditions caused by the weather.

The fastest gales of 140mph were in the Cairngorm highlands and 113mph was recorded at Stornoway Airport.

Rail services operated by ScotRail were all suspended and Forth Bridge Road was closed to traffic after a van toppled over. The driver escaped unharmed and the suspension bridge has been reopened to the public after slowly reintroducing traffic.

After all routes were put on hold from 5:30am following the storm, some services have been restored. Rail services by East Coast, Virgin and TransPennine Express are believed to have not been affected and are running as normal.

Ice and up to 15cm of snow are expected to cause treacherous driving conditions tomorrow and fast winds could form blizzards. A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office from noon on Saturday until 6pm on Sunday for potential blizzards in Scotland, Yorkshire, East Midlands, North West England, North East England and Northern Ireland.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “Cold air coming down from the north could form snow and ice and driving conditions could become trecherous.”

Currently, more than 20 ScotRail services are still on hold and the company advises travellers to check departure times for delays and cancellations before commencing their journeys.

The reinstated ScotRail lines include the half hourly route from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley and the hourly services to and from the two main city stations to Kilmarnock, North Berwick, Fife, Paisley, Barrhead and Dunblane. The company states that more lines will come back into operation when Network Rail finishes assessing the safety of each one.

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said: “For safety reasons, this morning it has been necessary for Network Rail to inspect rail lines across the network before allowing passengers to travel. Some services have already been restored in a controlled manner, and we are continuing to assess the situation. Please check our website for regular updates.”

Meanwhile, flood warnings have been issued for Cumbria and western parts of North Yorkshire. Other parts of the country will feel temperatures of between 6C and 12C and patches of rain and cloud are forecast for the Midlands and the south.