Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Cold snap hits cross-Channel travel

Water thrown up from a puddle at the side of a road in Brentwood, Essex, forms icicles on a part of a roadside hedge
Lorries queue for the Channel Tunnel on the M20 near Folkestone in Kent

Passengers on cross-Channel journeys have endured the worst of the travel disruption caused by the continuing mid-March cold snap.

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar had to cancel 10 services and there were delays of up to two hours on trains that were able to run.

There were also delays to Eurotunnel services at Folkestone in Kent with long tailbacks on the M20 as police put lorries into holding positions as part of Operation Stack.

Jersey Airport was shut until at least 2pm, while Guernsey Airport was shut until at least 3pm. Conditions were still hazardous on some major roads, including the A19 and A170 in North Yorkshire and the A947 in Aberdeenshire, while drivers on the M9 in Stirling had to contend with sheep on the road.

But with temperatures creeping up from mind-numbingly cold to merely fairly chilly, travelling for most road and rail users was far less of a problem than earlier in the week.

It was continuing bad weather in northern France that caused Wednesday's problems for Eurostar, which runs services from London to Paris and Brussels. Due to the hold-ups on the approaches to Folkestone, there were queues for the passenger and freight shuttles on Eurotunnel.

Further along the Kent coast, officials from the Port of Dover advised passengers to leave extra time for journeys because of a backlog of traffic entering the port.

The cold weather was set to continue throughout the day, with temperatures between 2C (35F) and 6C (43F) but feeling colder.

Gemma Plumb, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said snow showers were forecast for parts of Scotland and eastern parts of England, especially along the North Sea coast. But that snow was unlikely to settle and the snowfall that caused chaos across south east England on Tuesday had cleared, she said.

Ms Plumb added: "It won't be as cold as yesterday but it's still colder than average for this time of year. Tonight there will be lows of minus 5C (23F) to minus 7C (19F) across the whole country, so it is still really cold."

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz