Storm Doris has grounded scores of planes and slowed hundreds of trains

Many flights cancelled at Heathrow and other airports; East Coast main line rail passengers advised to change travel plans

Simon Calder
Wednesday 22 February 2017 19:30
Storm Doris: Yellow weather warnings for Scotland

Dozens of flights for Thursday have been cancelled to and from Heathrow airport. The airport says: “Strong winds and poor weather forecast for February 23, related to Storm Doris, are expected to cause some flight delays and cancellations across the UK.

“If you are due to travel, please check your flight status with your airline prior to arriving at the airport.”

High winds are expected to reduce the usual arrivals rate at the UK’s busiest airport. With little resilience in the system, scores of short-haul flights have been cancelled to provide “firebreaks” and avoid widespread disruption taking hold.

British Airways has grounded more than 50 flights. Domestic from Heathrow services to Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Belfast have been cancelled, with passengers rebooked on other flights. Dozens more BA flights to and from Europe have been cancelled, including two round-trips to Amsterdam, Munich and Istanbul.

KLM has axed three round-trips from Amsterdam, while Lufthansa and its Eurowings subsidiary have grounded services from Cologne, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt to Heathrow. Swiss has cut a return flight between Zurich and Heathrow.

Aer Lingus has cancelled a dozen flights, including services from Heathrow to Dublin and Cork. In addition, links from the Irish capital to Birmingham and Bristol have been grounded.

Rail travellers within the UK have been warned of disruption caused by speed restrictions imposed because of worries about debris being blown onto tracks.

On the East Coast main line from London King's Cross to Yorkshire, Newcastle and Scotland, Network Rail has imposed a speed restriction north of Hitchin between 11am and 6pm.

Virgin Trains East Coast has advised passengers booked to travel on their services today to travel before 2pm on Friday instead, saying "We’re running a reduced timetable and journeys are likely to take much longer than usual". Normal Advance ticket restrictions will not apply.

CrossCountry has cancelled most links between Newcastle and Birmingham for the day, and says: “You may use any other train operator on reasonable routes in order to complete your journey.”

TransPennine is not running between York and Newcastle, with passengers advised to travel on Virgin’s East Coast services.

Grand Central says trains between London and Bradford will start or end at Wakefield Kirkgate or Doncaster, and trains to and from Sunderland may start or end at York or Doncaster.

On Southern, the normal service between London Victoria and Brighton will be halved to one train an hour between 11am and 6pm, while Thameslink is cancelling trains between London Bridge and Brighton.

Arriva Trains Wales has suspended trains between Wolverhampton and Birmingham International.

In Scotland, ferry passengers to and from the Isle of Arran were warned of "a heightened possibility of disruption due to forecast high winds".

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