Storm Babet causes major transport disruption

Several main road sections and rail routes are closed due to the severe weather.

Neil Lancefield
Friday 20 October 2023 13:35 BST
Storm Babet batters Britain as rivers burst, rail lines flood and lighthouse dome swept away

Heavy rain and strong winds from Storm Babet are causing major transport disruption.

In Scotland, several major road sections and rail routes are closed, while air passengers are being hit by flight cancellations.

Traffic Scotland said flooding has forced the closure of the A85 at Huntingtower near Perth and the A90 between Myrekirk and Swallow roundabouts, Dundee.

The A9 Jubilee Bridge near Dunkeld, Perthshire is shut due to adverse weather conditions, while fallen trees are blocking the A90 between Ellon and Bogbrae, Aberdeenshire; and the A7 at Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway.

Drivers are also being advised to take care when crossing several bridges in Scotland, including the A898 Erskine Bridge, West Dunbartonshire; the M90 Queensferry Crossing between Edinburgh and Fife; and the A87 Skye Bridge.

ScotRail said train services remain suspended on several routes in north and north-east Scotland.

No trains are running between Aberdeen and Elgin; Edinburgh and Aberdeen via Fife; Perth and Aberdeen via Dundee; Dunblane and Perth; Perth and Aviemore; and Tain and Wick/Thurso.

All Fife Circle services are also suspended, impacting services between Glasgow Queen Street and Aberdeen/Inverness; and Edinburgh Waverley and Aberdeen/Inverness.

National Highways said the A15 Humber Bridge between North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire is closed in both directions to “high-sided and vulnerable vehicles” due to strong winds.

Flooding forced the closure of the A46 in Leicestershire in both directions between the A606 (near Widmerpool) and A6006 (near Sixhills), and the A52 in Derbyshire eastbound from the B6003 (near Bardhills) to the A6007 (near Bramcote).

Flooding has blocked all railway lines running through Swindon, as well as several routes across northern England, the Midlands and North Wales.

No trains are running between Derby and Sheffield or Nottingham; between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley; between Shrewsbury and Hereford/Wolverhampton; between Hereford and Birmingham New Street; between Chester and Crewe; or between Wrexham Central and Bidston.

Ten departures and seven arrivals were cancelled at Aberdeen airport on Friday.

Dozens of flights were axed on Thursday.

Scottish regional airline Loganair has cancelled dozens of flights due to the weather.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said the amount of rain being brought in by Storm Babet means “conditions on the roads are proving extremely difficult”.

He went on: “We urge drivers to heed the warnings, especially where flooding has already happened or is likely over the next few days.

“Drivers should never attempt to drive through floodwater as the risks are just too great.

“It’s vital anyone who absolutely has to travel prepares themselves for a longer journey, or considers waiting until the storm has passed before making it.”

AA patrol of the year Nick Powell urged drivers to be “very cautious, especially in rural or woody areas”.

He said: “If you see twigs or small branches on the road it could be a sign that a tree has fallen just around the bend, so pay extra attention to the path up ahead.

“As always in wet and windy weather, leave plenty of space behind other vehicles and adjust your speed to suit the conditions, especially when crossing bridges or passing high-sided vehicles.”

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