Storm Jocelyn brings travel disruption as more wind and rain expected

It is the second time in three nights that rail services have been stopped due to extreme weather conditions.

Latest updates
  • ScotRail services to be suspended from 7pm
  • Winds of up to 80mph expected in some areas
  • Thousands of homes were still without power on Monday night
  • Two people dead and one seriously injured following Storm Isha

Rail services across Scotland will be suspended from 7pm on Tuesday as Storm Jocelyn batters the country.

It is the second time in three nights that rail services have been stopped due to extreme weather conditions.

ScotRail announced on Monday that Network Rail had made the decision to close the railway to passenger services while the worst of the weather hits the infrastructure in order to keep passengers and staff safe.

Additionally, there will be no rush hour services on Wednesday morning.

Railway infrastructure across Scotland has been “significantly impacted” by Storm Isha, and it is expected that the predicted high winds throughout most of the country will continue to create challenges across the network, ScotRail said.

Winds tear roof from block of flats

The rail operator added that any trains that depart prior to 7pm on Tuesday will complete their journey, but no services will begin their journey after that time.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for wind for the northern and western coast of Scotland as far south as Arran, with power cuts and transport disruption predicted, from 6pm on Tuesday until 8am on Wednesday.

A yellow warning for rain is also in force from 7am on Tuesday until 6pm on Wednesday, covering much of the west of Scotland and the central belt, from Wigtown to Aviemore.

The whole of Scotland and much of the UK is covered by a yellow warning for high winds from 4pm on Tuesday until 1pm on Wednesday.

Gusts of 80mph could be experienced in exposed areas, with 40-50mm of rain possible over higher ground, forecasters said.

It could also lead to trains being trapped on the network.

Each route will have to undergo a safety inspection before trains are able to operate, which means it will be later on Wednesday before any trains can run.

Watch moment of ‘terrifying’ landing at Glasgow Airport amid Storm Isha

Customers whose journey has been cancelled or disrupted due to adverse weather can travel two days after the date on their ticket, or also apply for a refund on any unused tickets.

Customers are advised to check the ScotRail website or app before travelling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Met Office chief meteorologist Steve Willington said Storm Jocelyn, named by Met Eireann, could cause further disruption hot on the heels of Storm Isha.

He said: “Although this system will be a step down relative to Storm Isha, with the damage and clean up still underway, we could potentially see more impacts from Storm Jocelyn.

A tree fallen on to the road caused disruption for drivers in Glasgow. Photo: Abdul Bostani.Abdul Bostani

“Outbreaks of heavy rain on Tuesday could bring rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20mm quite widely with 40 to 50mm over higher ground in southwest Scotland, the Scottish Highlands and parts of northwest England.

“Wind gusts are expected to reach 55 to 65mph across northwestern Scotland while there is potential for winds to gust to reach 75 to 80mph in a few places, in particular exposed parts of the Western Isles and coastal northwest Scotland early on Wednesday morning.”

Met Office spokesman Stephen Dixon said Tuesday will be another wet day before windspeeds start to pick up towards the evening.

“Tuesday will be quite a wet day for many people with a rain front bringing the chance of disruption,” he said.

“Higher windspeeds will start to develop overnight on Tuesday into Wednesday morning.

“Windspeeds from Storm Jocelyn will be a slight notch down from Storm Isha, but with the clean up still underway, more disruption is likely.”

On Monday, Phil Campbell, ScotRail customer operations director, said: “The heavy wind and ongoing rain hitting most parts of the country mean that it will not be safe for our customers and our staff, and all ScotRail train services will be suspended from 7pm tomorrow.

“This is the second withdrawal of train services this week, and we know the impact this has on customers, but the safety of staff and passengers will always be our priority.

“Our colleagues at Network Rail Scotland will again be working flat out to carry out safety checks, and assess what repairs are required to reopen the railway. 

“However, customers will be unable to travel early on Wednesday morning, as trains will not be able to operate until the infrastructure has been made safe.

“We will update our website, mobile app, and social media feeds when we have more information, and customers should check for the latest updates before they attempt to travel.”

Roads and bridges are also expected to close as a result of the adverse weather and ferry and air travel is also set to be disrupted.

Thousands of homes were still without power on Monday night.

Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution said it is maintaining its yellow alert status in advance of Storm Jocelyn.

This latest named storm arrives as SSEN is working hard to reconnect the last remaining homes that lost supplies as a result of Storm Isha yesterday.

As of 12pm on Tuesday, supplies have been successfully restored to more than 37,000 customers.

Work to reconnect the 370 remaining properties still without power is continuing, with the expectation that everyone who lost power due to the storm’s effects will be reconnected by the end of today.

Vans offering free hot food and drink will open for breakfast on Tuesday morning in the following locations for people who are still without power:

  • Moray Park, Doune, FK15 6DN (open from 7.30am)
  • Balconie Street, Evanton, Dingwall, IV16 9UN (open from 8am)
  • Memorial Hall, Strachur, PA27 8DG

As part of SSEN’s support package, customers who will be without power for more than 12 hours are entitled to £30 per person for every day without power, to cover the cost of food and drink.

Andy Smith, operations director at SSEN Distribution said: “Storm Isha caused widespread damage to our network on Sunday night and Monday morning, and I am grateful for the patience and support our customers have shown as we have worked hard to reconnect their power. Yesterday, our teams did an incredible job to reconnect 37,000 customers in just one day, and they continue to work hard to restore power to the last 370 homes today.

“Other than reconnecting these last customers from Isha, our teams’ focus today is to ensure we are fully prepared for Storm Jocelyn that is due to arrive in our network area at around 6pm this evening and bring the strongest winds in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Our teams are well prepared and on hand to respond tonight and tomorrow as required.

“I would like to ask all our customers to continue to use our Power Track app or website to report and keep updated with power cuts in their area, and to call us on 105 if they see any damage or safety issues with our equipment.”

A spokesperson for SP Energy Networks said: “SP Energy Networks engineers worked through the night in challenging conditions to restore supplies to a further 2,000 customers across central and southern Scotland whose power supplies were affected by Storm Isha.

“Work is ongoing to restore supplies to the remaining 1,500, with additional resources brought in to help achieve this as safely and quickly as possible as we face worsening conditions from Storm Jocelyn later today.

“Our customer service teams remain in contact with affected customers to offer welfare support and hot meal vouchers and to ensure anyone registered on our Priority Services Register has the help they need.”

On Monday, First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “Storm Jocelyn is likely to cause more disruption, with strong winds buffeting infrastructure and rain falling on already saturated ground. Travel is likely to be difficult, particularly heading into Wednesday’s rush hour, so I urge everyone to follow guidance from Police Scotland and check updates from transport providers, Transport Scotland and the Met Office.”

Martin Thomson, national operations manager for resilience at Transport Scotland, said: “Focus is now shifting onto the next named storm, Jocelyn, for tomorrow [Tuesday] into Wednesday, and preparations are underway with rail, aviation and ferries colleagues.

“Staff from trunk road operating companies will be undertaking inspections to respond to any treefall or blocked drains. We expect to see delays and cancellations with ferries, flights and rail from Tuesday into Wednesday morning.”

An 84-year-old man died after the car in which he was a front seat passenger crashed into a fallen tree in Grangemouth, Falkirk, Police Scotland said.

And a man in his 60s was killed in a crash involving two vans and a fallen tree in Limavady, Co Londonderry, on Sunday night, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

Many people were expected to spend Monday night without any power, The Energy Networks Association said.

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