Friday 23 August 2019

Travel chaos as Storm Barbara batters country

Mary Cahill greets her daughter Sarah at Shannon Airport as she arrives home from London
Mary Cahill greets her daughter Sarah at Shannon Airport as she arrives home from London

Cian Murray

Christmas travel plans have been thrown into disarray by Storm Barbara, with six of today's Irish Ferries' crossings being cancelled.

Met Éireann issued an orange alert, with coastal regions and high ground in Donegal, Mayo and Galway expected to be worst hit by gale-force winds gusting up to 120kmh.

Storm Barbara is expected to sweep over the country from the south and west, bringing milder temperatures but heavy rains with the gales.

A short statement on Irish Ferries' website said that certain ferries were being cancelled "due to adverse weather conditions on the Irish Sea".

It added: "Irish Ferries apologises for any inconvenience caused by this disruption."

Swift services from Dublin to Holyhead have been cancelled along with the planned service on the Oscar Wilde at 10.45am, as have ferries operating back from Holyhead.

Passengers are advised that they can be accommodated on the Ulysses cruise ferry services at other times and to check notices.

Stena Line, which operates from Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard, also warned that some of its services may be affected.

Read more: Christmas travel chaos: Storm Barbara causes cancellation of multiple ferry crossings

"Storm Barbara is set to bring wet and windy conditions to the UK. Unfortunately this may cause disruption to some of our scheduled sailings this Friday and Saturday," it said.

Meanwhile, flights from three London airports were hit by delays after fog shrouded the English capital.

Festive travel plans were disrupted after Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports all experienced a raft of hold-ups due to the weather.

A spokesman for Heathrow said some early-morning flights were pushed back and knock-on delays could take place throughout the day, adding that there has yet to be any cancellations.

British Airways said on its official Twitter feed: "We are sorry for the difficulties caused by the poor weather and will do all we can to minimise the effect it has on our operations."

It comes as Britain braces itself for the arrival of Storm Barbara, which is set to batter the country with strong winds.

Scotland is predicted to be the worst hit by the weather, with gusts of up to 140kmh forecast in places.

Pockets of Northern Ireland, North Wales and the north of England are also due to feel the force of Barbara, which will roll into the UK today.

Met Éireann has an Orange Wind Warning for coastal regions and high ground in Donegal, Galway and Mayo.

It predicts that Christmas Eve will be mild, breezy and mostly cloudy with some rain.

Christmas Day will be mild and breezy at first but "rain will become widespread and heavier, during the evening and early night".

Irish Independent

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