March 8 2014 Latest news:
Monday, December 23, 2013
East Anglia was early today braced for the most severe of the high winds as gales sweep across the country.
Norfolk police have issued advice on things motorists should consider, check and prepare before heading out on any journey.
• Before going on any long journey, make sure your vehicle is in good condition.
• Plan your route in advance, using main roads as far as possible and ensure you have enough money and petrol. It is also worth carrying a spare petrol can.
• What is the weather like? Snow, rain, or fog bring about different and difficult driving conditions. Listen to local weather forecasts and adjust your driving as necessary.
• Carry some change to make a public telephone call if you need to and if possible carry a mobile phone with sufficient credit on it to ring for help.
• Keep your doors locked when driving in town and keep valuables away from open windows.
• After dark, always park in a well-lit, preferably busy area.
• When you come back to your car have your key ready and check there is no one in the car.
Gusts up to 65mph were expected to hit the region until 5am, with possible winds of up to 75mph on the coast.
However, Norfolk has already been affected by the weather with trees blown down, a chimney swept off a bungalow roof and Breydon Bridge in Great Yarmouth closed to all traffic because of the high winds.
Many travellers hoping to make it home for the festive season faced difficult journeys, with flights and train services disrupted and roads blocked, even though the region escaped the worst of the gales, which came only weeks after the storm surge which devastated the coast earlier this month.
The forecast for the next few days is for calmer weather, but nationally building up to further storms on Thursday and Friday.
Train passengers were being advised yesterday by operator Greater Anglia to complete their journeys earlier where possible as there would not be any trains operating until 10am today while checks were carried out on the network and no replacement buses would be available.
Last night, Greater Anglia operated limited services at reduced speeds during the evening rush hour, while long distance journey times were extended.
The difficult situation was compounded by a broken down train at Diss which caused delays of an hour on the Norwich to London line at 7pm.
First Capital Connect, which runs trains from King’s Lynn, was running trains at reduced speed because of the risk of debris on the lines and was finishing services earlier yesterday evening. The operator was also due to be running trains later than usual today.
Flights were also affected by the weather chaos, with services between Norwich and Manchester being cancelled and replaced by coaches.
The Breydon Bridge at Great Yarmouth was closed to traffic at 10pm due to the high winds, which caused trees to fall on roads across the county, causing travel disruption.
The high winds also caused a chimney to collapse onto the front lawn of a bungalow at Ashwellthorpe.