Two major rail companies, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express, have issued warnings to their customers, advising against travel to and from Scotland tomorrow. The precautionary measure comes as the Met Office has issued weather warnings for heavy rain in the region. Both companies have cited the severe weather conditions as the reason for their travel advisory, with Avanti West Coast stating that there will be “no services north of Preston,” while TransPennine Express has urged customers not to travel on any of their routes to Scotland.
Adding to the travel concerns, ScotRail has also alerted its customers about the possibility of significant service disruptions following an amber weather warning issued by the Met Office due to heavy rain. They mentioned the suspension of some routes as a result of the adverse conditions. ScotRail further advised their customers to travel only when necessary, expect delays, and stay updated on the latest developments through their website, app, or social media feeds.
The Met Office has issued an amber weather warning for heavy rain, which will be in effect from the early hours of Saturday until Sunday morning, predominantly affecting central regions of Scotland. Additionally, a yellow weather alert for “heavy and persistent rain” has been issued for most of Scotland until 6am on Sunday. These warnings coincide with authorities in Scotland issuing fresh flood alerts ahead of what they have termed a “major rainfall event”. Forecasts predict between 150mm (six inches) and 180mm (eight inches) of rain, especially in the Highlands.
Ruth Ellis, flood duty manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), expressed grave concern over the expected extreme weather conditions. She stated that significant and prolonged heavy rainfall is anticipated throughout Saturday over the Southern Highlands and western Central Belt, with the north to experience more heavy rain on Sunday. Ellis warned of extensive river and surface water flooding, as well as possible danger to life, widespread property flooding, flooded roads, and infrastructure disruption. In light of this, she advised people in the affected areas to prepare for flooding impacts and carefully consider the necessity of their journeys.
Network Rail has also issued a warning regarding the severe weather conditions. In their statement, they announced that the West Highland Line, Highland Mainline, and the lines to Helensburgh and Balloch will be severely affected. Some lines will be closed, while others will have speed restrictions. Consequently, most of Scotland’s railways will operate a revised timetable. ScotRail has echoed the importance of planning ahead and paying close attention to travel advice in light of the disruptions. They have urged people to stay clear of any floodwater and consider creating a flood plan for their homes or businesses.
While Scotland braces for heavy rain, southern and central regions of England are expected to experience fine and dry weather, with temperatures potentially reaching as high as 25C (77F) by Sunday afternoon. The stark contrast between the weather conditions in different parts of the United Kingdom further highlights the need for caution and preparedness during this period of severe weather in Scotland.
Rail companies and relevant authorities in Scotland are taking proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of travelers in light of the predicted heavy rain. Customers are strongly advised to heed these warnings, stay updated on travel advice, and consider the potential impact on their journeys. Preparing for flooding impacts and adhering to safety guidelines are crucial during these challenging weather conditions.