Rail and road misery could affect Christmas journeys


Those making their way home or to see friends and family for Christmas are likely to be hampered by public transport delays and severe weather on the roads.

Winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 53 mph in Hemel Hempstead today and the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind and rain in the area. Motorists are advised to check road conditions before setting out on their journey.

Herts Police say they are expecting a higher volume of calls than usual and people are reminded to call 101 to report non-emergency incidents and dial 999 only in an emergency.

Assistant Chief Con Alison Roome-Gifford said: “A lot of people may be travelling when the weather hits as they go to meet relatives and friends for the festive period. I would urge everyone to take extra care on the roads, plan your journey and adapt it as necessary to the conditions as they develop.

“Please be mindful of other road users and drive safely, ensuring that you adjust your speed appropriately and keep a suitable distance between your vehicle and the next. Before setting off on any journey it is very important to check that your vehicle is ready for the conditions by ensuring that the lights are working, the tyres are of good condition and that the wipers are fully functional.”

Rail operator London Midland is urging passengers to finish journeys by mid-afternoon today as severe storms are forecast for the midlands and south of England.

An expected 50 mph speed restriction will be applied on lines from the midlands to London, passing through Dacorum train stations.

London Midland commercial director Richard Brooks said: “We will be putting extra staff out to help passengers but the message is very simple, the weather we are expecting on Monday afternoon is going to make travel very difficult and I suggest you don’t travel during that period if you don’t need to.

“If you must travel, aim to start and finish your journey as early as you can.”

The company has lifted ticket restrictions to make it easier for passengers to travel on any of its services today and tomorrow, so customers who have purchased advance tickets for a specific journey time today or on Christmas Eve can now choose to travel at any time.