High winds and heavy rain to affect trains across Hampshire

Daily Echo: Weather warning for rail passengers Weather warning for rail passengers

RAIL passengers on the great Christmas getaway are being warned to expect delays when Hampshire is battered by extreme winds and heavy rain this afternoon.

The South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance is advising travellers trying to get to loved ones for the festive season that the horrendous weather set to hit within the next few hours is predicted to results in reduced services across the country.

And car ferry passengers are also being warned to expect delays after Wightlink suspended its service from Lymington to Yarmouth this morning.

Those affected are being urged to call the company - and may have to sail from Portsmouth instead.

The forecasts, that will affect most train operators and other transport networks, are predicting stormy conditions with high winds of up to 70mph – due to peak at around 3pm in the county.

Rail passengers are being advised to only travel this afternoon only if absolutely necessary and all customers are urged to check the latest travel information, as well as allowing extra time for their journeys.

A spokesman for South West Trains- Network Rail Alliance said: “We want to take this opportunity to warn passengers of the forecasts and the effect they could have on the network.

“Like other transport operators, we are monitoring the situation closely to ensure we put the safety of customers and our staff first.

“We are also advising passengers to take extra care during their journeys, plan ahead by checking the latest travel information and allow extra time to complete their trips.”

The Met Office is also warning of possible flooding as the horrid conditions hit the south coast and drivers are being warned to expect poor visibility on the roads.

The high winds will continue well into the evening while drivers are being warned to allow extra time because of poor visibility.

In particular they are urging people planning on travelling towards Devon and Somerset to delay their journeys until late afternoon.

The heavy rain looks set to continue into the early hours of tomorrow with winds gusting up to 59 miles an hour, but should stop by around 3pm, though it will remain cloudy.

The Environment Agency has put areas around the River Blackwater on flood alert, which means flooding is possible and residents should be prepared. The river flows north of Wellow, near Romsey, and joins the River Test between Totton and Redbridge. It said that water levels on the river are high but had started to drop off following the rain of Saturday and Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Red Funnel has said that its high speed Red Jet services between Southampton and West Cowes are running normally, as are the vehicle ferry services between the city and East Cowes.

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