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Snow predicted to cause disruption

News / Sun 25th Feb 2018 at 03:51pm

THERE is expected to be disruption due to snow this week.

We will pull in information from a number of sources to keep you informed.

Greater Anglia

Rail passengers are advised to check before they travel this week as only key train services will run if two days of heavy snow and extreme weather conditions forecast for the east of the region materialise.

Network Rail and Greater Anglia have been liaising closely with weather forecasters Met Desk in order to draw up contingency plans for the forecast spell of extreme weather.

Met Desk has warned of up to 30 centimetres of snow to fall during heavy snow showers overnight from Monday to Tuesday, and on Wednesday and subsequent days, when temperatures will rarely get above freezing so snow will not melt, with there is a risk of snow drifts.

As a result of the extreme conditions forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, Network Rail is concentrating on keeping main routes operating – Norwich to London, Southend to London, Norwich to Cambridge and Cambridge/Stansted to London.

There will be no services on rural routes: Norwich to Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham, and Ipswich to Felixstowe and Lowestoft. There will be no rail replacement bus service on these routes either.

Other routes will run with a reduced service in place. [Full details are below.]

Just as traffic on roads has to run slower in extreme weather conditions, so does the railway. As a result, a reduced service will operate between, Ipswich, Colchester and London Liverpool Street due to slower speed restrictions.

Services on Monday will end at 22.00 to enable trains to return to return to depots and stations before the forecast snow storms start, so services will start to be reduced from 20.00.

Some empty trains will run throughout the night to keep lines clear of snow for the morning commute.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the reduced service will operate only between 06.00 and 22.00.

If the weather is not as extreme as forecast, Greater Anglia and Network Rail will work hard to reinstate services and reopen lines as soon as possible.

Richard Dean, Greater Anglia Train Service Delivery Director said: “We apologise for the inconvenience that this reduced service causes customers.

“The last time such heavy snow fell in this region was over 25 years ago. In extreme conditions such as these, we work hard with Network Rail to keep key routes open, using snow ploughs, points heaters and mobilising all staff to clear snow off platforms and heat up and de-ice trains.

“Volume of traffic on some routes keep snow from settling too deep, like on roads, but not on rural routes. We are committed to keeping our customers safe in all conditions and the last thing anyone wants is for customers to be stranded on a cold train in the middle of a blizzard in rural Suffolk or Norfolk.

“If the forecasts prove wrong, we will of course, do everything possible to get services up and running as soon as possible.”

All Greater Anglia staff have been asked to go to their local stations to help clear snow off the platforms, to keep stations safe for passengers.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We will be keeping a close eye on the forecast over the next few days and have plans in place should the extreme weather materialise. We will have extra staff working around the clock in order to keep main lines as clear as possible but while we will do everything we can to keep people moving, some lines may be closed and services will be subject to delays and cancellations, especially in the areas worst hit. We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause but the safety of our passengers and staff remains our number one priority.”

These are plans for each route:

No service: Norwich to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft; Ipswich to Felixstowe and Lowestoft; Colchester to Colchester Town; Stratford to Tottenham Hale.
Shuttle service only: Braintree to Witham; Harwich to Manningtree; Thorpe-le- Soken to Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton; Hertford East to Broxbourne; Colchester to Clacton; Southminster to Wickford; Marks Tey to Sudbury;
Running but less frequent/slower service: Norwich to London, Norwich to Cambridge, Ipswich to Cambridge, Ipswich to Peterborough, Ipswich and Colchester to London, Southend to London, Cambridge to London, Stansted Airport to London, will run a reduced service from 06.00 to 22.00 on Tuesday and Wednesday, with all services finishing by 22.00 on Monday.

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From Highways England

Road users in the North East of England, Midlands and the East of England are being advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling on Tuesday 27th February as significant levels of snow are forecast and Highways England has issued a severe weather warning.

A band of snow is expected to affect parts of the network through Tuesday morning. The snow is expected to come into the north east through the very early hours of the morning, affecting the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, before gradually progressing south west towards Birmingham and the West Midlands conurbation, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, falling at all altitudes including sea-level. Areas are likely see 2 to 4 cm with some roads potentially seeing 5 to 10 cm of snow in just a few hours (most likely across South East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire). Strong winds may lead to some drifting of snow and a severe wind chill is likely. As the snow tracks to the south west, it will lessen in intensity and become more showery in nature.

Highways England is working closely with the Met Office monitoring the latest weather conditions with snow expected to affect the road network during Tuesday.

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Essex Weather Centre

THERE is now very high confidence that Essex, along with the rest of the region will experience very cold conditions and disruptive snowfall from this Sunday (25th February) which may well last into the middle of next month.

Impacts are likely to be greater than normal due to air temperatures remaining below freezing both by day and night for a lengthy period and frequent snow showers arriving from the North Sea. There is also the risk of significant snow at times from low pressure systems skirting along the English Channel.

A severe weather warning (Heavy Snow) has already been issued by the Met Office affecting all districts of Essex and East London starting 16:00 on Monday and expiring 23:55 on Tuesday.

Go to https://essexweather.org.uk/severe-winter-weather/ for further details.

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