Tuesday’s weather continues to disrupt Wednesday’s UK travel

A day on from Tuesday’s snow and freezing conditions in the UK’s southeast, travel plans were still suffering disruption in the region this morning.

Those worst affected were passengers on Eurostar, the high-speed rail network that connects the UK with France and the rest of Europe via the Channel Tunnel. Continuing freezing weather in Kent, southeastern England, and also in northern France means that delays on the route were inevitable, and longer journey times were also predicted.

A statement on Eurostar’s website read, ‘We anticipate speed restrictions remaining in place throughout the day. Unfortunately as a consequence, we will only be able to operate an amended timetable and journey times will be approximately two hours longer than usual.’

Travellers using air connections to and from the Channel Islands were also expecting delays and cancellations until at least later in the day. The island of Jersey, which rarely sees substantial accumulations of snow, was particularly badly hit by snowstorms during Tuesday. Snow covered runways meant that the airport had to be closed to traffic and was predicted to stay closed until at least 2pm today. A short distance away, the neighbouring island of Guernsey was also forced to ground all flights, and that is likely to be the situation until at least 3pm today. Once the two airports reopen it is expected that there will still be some disruption until aircraft are repositioned.

The weather outlook is at least predicting a gradual end to the freezing conditions over the next day or so, with a return to milder but less settled weather and outbreaks of rain.

UK Holiday Rush Gets Underway

The influx of visitors to the UK for the London Olympic games is about to be matched by a mass exodus of Brits departing the country for their annual holiday.

Now that the school holidays are underway it is estimated that as many as two million British holidaymakers could be leaving the UK this weekend and heading for the sunshine resorts in Europe and beyond. Heathrow Airport alone expects to speed the departure of 482,000 British travellers over the next two days. 50,000 more will exit on Eurostar trains through the channel tunnel. Provincial airports are also likely to experience their busiest weekend of the year.

For those holidaying at home, the Automobile Association (AA) has issued a warning for potentially busy roads from mid afternoon today, with routes to the seaside resorts of the southwest likely to be busiest, along with roads around cross-channel ports and major airports.

The traffic to UK resorts is likely to be bolstered by the promise from the Met office of better weather in the next few days, after the country has endured several weeks of rainy conditions.

A survey of more than 20,000 AA members by AA/Populus indicated that around 25 percent of respondents will not drive as far for this year’s holiday as they did last year. Least likely to exceed last year’s mileage are Scots, Londoners and people from the northwest of England. The survey also revealed that Londoners are the most likely to take a foreign holiday, while the Welsh are the most likely to forego this year’s holiday completely.