Storm Gareth: Travel disruption as gusts of up to 75mph hit UK

  • Published
Winds of Storm Gareth and the high tide at BlackpoolImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Storm Gareth made an impact at high tide in Blackpool

Heavy rain and strong winds caused travel disruption in several parts of the UK as Storm Gareth moved east.

Northern Ireland was the first area to be affected, while parts of Scotland and north-west England experienced flooding.

National Rail said there was disruption on various train lines in Scotland, Wales and northern and eastern England.

A yellow Met Office weather warning of heavy rain is in place for Thursday.

BBC Scotland Weather said winds had reached storm force across Argyll, with a gust of 75mph at Machrihanish.

Media caption,
Overhead wires tripped out near a train in Saltcoats

The strong winds brought trains between Durham and Newcastle to a halt until 09:00 GMT after overhead electric wires were damaged, impacting LNER, CrossCountry, Northern and Transpennine Express services on Wednesday.

Virgin Trains services between Manchester Piccadilly and London Euston, and some trains between Glasgow Central and Preston were also cancelled.

Meanwhile, P&O Ferries said Wednesday morning crossings between Dover and Calais were delayed by up to 90 minutes, which resulted in long delays for motorists on the M20 in Kent.

Police implemented Operation Stack - allowing lorries waiting to cross the Channel to park on closed sections of the motorway - between junctions eight and nine on the Dover-bound carriageway from 12:20 GMT with all other traffic diverted to other routes.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

There were reports of trees blocking roads and some exposed routes in the north-east of England being closed to high-sided vehicles.

Commuters also faced disruption in parts of Wales as fallen trees blocked roads in Carmarthenshire, Gwynedd and Powys.

Six French fishermen were airlifted from a boat that was stricken in 20ft (6m) high waves off Land's End after coastguards were alerted its engine had failed.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Flooding affected many parts of Scotland with alerts issued in southern and western areas, and the Environment Agency issued a number of flood warnings, mostly in north-west England.

The Met Office also warned of localised flooding in Cumbria after heavy rain, bringing a risk of damage to buildings, flying debris, large waves, power cuts and travel disruption.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
A wave slaps against the harbour wall at Porthcawl, Wales

A yellow "be aware" Met Office weather warning for heavy rain is in place for parts of northern England on Thursday.

It forecasts downpours in north-west England - with 20 to 30mm of rainfall likely and up to 50mm in some places - between 00:15 GMT and 15:00 GMT.

Image source, smARTindale
Image caption,
Storm Gareth in Carlyon Bay St Austell, Cornwall
Image source, SYFR
Image caption,
Fire and rescue crews were called when a large tree fell onto a hotel in Moorgate, Rotherham
Image source, Andrew Hill/Troggs
Image caption,
This hardy surfer made the most of the waves in Northern Ireland on Tuesday
Image source, Mikecadoxton/Weather Watchers
Image caption,
Waves crashing at a beach in Porthcawl Bridgend, on the south coast of Wales
Image caption,
This was the scene in Dumfries as the River Nith flooded its banks

In other developments:

  • The M48 Severn Bridge linking Monmouthshire and south-west England reopened to all vehicles after it was closed for four hours on Tuesday.
  • City of Derry Airport warned passengers to expect disruptions to flights.
  • P&O Ferries said delays between Dover and Calais reached up to two hours for a time on Wednesday - but services between Dublin and Liverpool were running again, having been cancelled on Tuesday.
  • Ferry services to and from the Isle of Man were hit for a second day after all sailings were cancelled between Douglas and Heysham, Lancashire, on Tuesday.
  • Ferry services between Pembroke and Rosslare and Holyhead Dublin were also affected.
  • Elsewhere, Brittany Ferries also cancelled ferries from Roscoff to Plymouth and Portsmouth to Bilbao due to weather conditions.

Gareth is the third storm to be named this year, after Erik in February and Freya earlier this month.

Image source, Ali McCrossan
Image caption,
Waves battered the Portaferry Road on the Ards Peninsula in Northern Ireland
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
Image source, CeredigionRPU
Image caption,
A stretch of the A484 was closed in both directions due to a fallen tree near Carmarthen
Image caption,
A tree downed by the wind in Nelson Drive, Londonderry

Have you been affected by the adverse weather? Tell us about your experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: