Join Simon Calder’s complimentary email subscription for expert travel tips and cost-saving deals.
Receive Simon Calder’s Travel newsletter
The arrival of Storm Ciaran is resulting in extensive travel disruptions, with anticipated cancellations and delays until Saturday as the UK prepares for the impact of the severe weather.
The Met Office has released two amber alerts, indicating a “danger to life” in England and Wales due to heavy rain and strong winds beginning on Wednesday evening. This has resulted in flight cancellations and delays, and disrupted train and ferry services.
According to Met Office representative Oli Claydon, the storm is expected to bring strong winds of 70-80mph along the coast and possibly up to 85mph. The public is advised to avoid the water’s edge due to the extremely hazardous conditions.
The country of Northern Ireland has experienced flooding and a yellow rain warning was issued by the Met Office until Wednesday at 9am.
The most severe weather is expected in the ocean, as forecasts indicate that waves in the Bay of Biscay may reach heights of 14 meters (45 feet) near the Brittany coast. French meteorologists are cautioning of gusts potentially surpassing 160km/h (100mph).
All planned voyages from the UK to Spain via Brittany Ferries on Thursday have been cancelled due to severe weather conditions in the Bay of Biscay. According to a source within the ferry industry, the storm is expected to cause the most damage on Thursday as it moves from west to east, with the English Channel being particularly chaotic.
DFDS Ferries has cancelled all scheduled trips between the UK and France until Friday morning. The usual route connects Dover to both Calais and Dunkirk, but the company has announced that sailings from 11:59pm on November 1st until 2am on November 3rd will not be operating due to severe weather. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Passengers who have been affected can reach out to the company to reschedule their booking.
DFDS announced that the Newhaven-Dieppe route will be temporarily halted for 24 hours beginning Wednesday evening.
Due to the island’s airport being closed for the entire day on Thursday, Condor Ferries has decided to cancel all sailings to and from Jersey until Saturday. This includes the cancellation of several flights, including four from and to London Heathrow.
Travelers were notified that the airport will be closed for commercial flights on Thursday. However, it will still be accessible for emergency and medical flights. The airport is scheduled to resume operations on Friday after a thorough inspection of its infrastructure.
Unfortunately, Heathrow airport, which is the most heavily trafficked airport in the UK, is experiencing a significant number of additional flight cancellations. Due to this, British Airways has suspended 30 domestic and European flights, including two round trips to Amsterdam, two to Belfast City, and two to Paris CDG. Affected passengers have the option to be rescheduled onto alternative flights or receive a complete refund.
Furthermore, KLM has scrapped five return flights between Amsterdam and Heathrow due to the decreased runway availability at the Dutch airport.
Numerous travelers who planned to transfer from various airports in the UK to Amsterdam Schiphol are now discovering that their Thursday flights have been called off.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines informed travelers that due to anticipated weather conditions at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, there will be a decrease in runway availability on Thursday, November 2nd. As a result, certain flights have been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
KLM has suspended flights at all 17 UK airports, including Bristol and Inverness. Approximately 50 flights to and from Amsterdam have been impacted. London City, London Heathrow, and Manchester have experienced the most severe disruptions.
KLM will cover the cost of rerouting passengers and provide accommodations and meals if needed until they reach their final destination.
Train operators in the southwest of England and Wales, as well as those in Scotland, are anticipating significant disruptions.
Network Rail has reported that heavy rain and strong winds may cause travel disruptions in various parts of the UK on Thursday and Friday. These areas include Wales, the south of England, the Midlands, the northeast of England, and central and eastern Scotland.
“Due to inclement weather, passengers are advised to allocate additional time for their travels and to check for any potential disruptions to services before departing.”
GWR is recommending that passengers avoid traveling in Cornwall until noon on Thursday. All train services on the main line from St Austell to Penzance, as well as branch lines, have been cancelled during this time.
GWR announced that individuals with tickets for Wednesday evening will have the option to travel earlier in the day in order to assist with their journey. Due to the expected arrival of Storm Ciaran on Thursday 2 November, there is a possibility of short-notice changes or cancellations of services on the Great Western Railway network.
The storm may also impact the roads, causing them to be in bad condition and potentially leading to closures that could disrupt the availability of alternative transportation by rail.
LNER has issued a warning that services on the East Coast Main Line, which connects London King’s Cross to Yorkshire, northeast England, and Scotland, will be affected by Storm Ciaran until at least Saturday, November 4. Passengers are advised not to travel on Thursday or Friday due to the disruption.
The train company strongly recommends avoiding travel on Thursday, November 2nd and Friday, November 3rd.
“Several LNER trains are expected to operate, however, significant disturbances are anticipated such as extended delays, sudden cancellations, and overcrowding. On Saturday, November 4th, there is a possibility of changes to our services as we strive to resume our regular schedule.”
All regional express trains in the Hauts de France region have been canceled due to forecasts of violent winds. The train operator has announced a total interruption of TER Hauts-de-France traffic on Thursday, November 2nd and potential disruptions on Friday, November 3rd in the morning to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. This region stretches from north of Paris to Calais and Dunkirk.