Belfast Telegraph

Bus and rail services to be reinstated after day of travel chaos

By Eamon Sweeney

Trains, planes and automobiles were all brought to a halt yesterday as Storm Ophelia took a deadly grip on the whole island of Ireland.

Transport services are expected to return to normal this morning, although drivers are being warned to take care and watch for debris.

Public transport users, and ferry and plane passengers have been urged to check online or use phone service operators to ensure their journey goes as smoothly as possible.

Translink said it intended to reinstate bus and rail services from 4.15am this morning from Londonderry and at 6am from Belfast, but that was dependent on roads and rail lines being intact and free from debris.

The Department for Infrastructure said it cleared debris from around 100 roads yesterday.

All motorways should be open this morning, although 40 roads were still shut last night and may not be clear for morning commuters.

By teatime yesterday, both Belfast City and Belfast International airports had cancelled all flights in and out of Northern Ireland.

At City of Derry Airport in the north west, some flights made it to London earlier in the day although they were delayed for around an hour.

But as the afternoon went on, BMI flights to Stansted and Luton were cancelled by the operator.

Ferry services also suffered as the storm hit hard. P&O crossings between Belfast and Cairnryan were cancelled at 1.30pm and 4.30pm yesterday.

The Strangford Ferry in Co Down was suspended until further notice because of the adverse conditions in the afternoon.

In the Republic, the Irish Ferries crossings between Dublin and Holyhead were scrapped and commercial sailings and passenger travel from Cork, Galway and Dun Loaghaire were also heavily disrupted.

Translink suspended all of its bus and rail services from 5.30pm onwards yesterday afternoon.

Metro and Goldline services across Northern Ireland were halted. The company said "the safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority".

In Londonderry, both the Foyle Bridge and the Peace Bridge were closed down for safety reasons while in east Belfast, the Albertbridge Road was cordoned off after a derelict building in Montrose Street collapsed.

In Lisburn there were reports from travellers that a large amount of debris had accumulated on Creighton's Road.

Belfast Telegraph

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