New Year’s Eve revelers heading out to parties face the combined travel misery of industrial action on the railways and a powerful storm battering much of the country and causing chaos on the roads.
Last night, the Meteorological Office issued four weather warnings and predicted winds of up to 80mph wreaking havoc across rail and road networks this morning.
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Organisers of Edinburgh’s traditional Hogmanay celebrations insisted that the event would go ahead despite winds of up to 80mph barrelling in earlier from Northern Ireland and northern England across Southern Scotland.
A Met Office spokesman said Storm Dylan posed a “potential for injuries and danger to life from flying debris”.
Heavy rain is expected across parts of Wales and southern England affecting bus and train services and causing flooding.
Despite the squally start, conditions are expected to improve in time to welcome in 2018.
However, some will find their journeys to parties disrupted as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walk out for 24 hours on South Western Railway (SWR) and CrossCountry routes causing delays and cancellations.
The Government has accused the union of causing misery for passengers as services to London Waterloo suffer widespread disruption leaving many partygoers struggling to get to the capital’s New Year celebrations. CrossCountry is expected to be running a reduced service between Newcastle and Edinburgh, with no service between Glasgow and Aberdeen.
The day millions of people return to work has been branded “traumatic Tuesday” as breakdown companies predict a surge in emergency call outs because cars that have remained idle over the festive season fail to start.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy at the AA, said: “The day people return to work after Christmas is traditionally one of our busiest days of the year. Cars have sat idly on driveways in the cold and consequently we get a lot of breakdown call outs.
“Then on Tuesday, when the roadworks embargo ends everything returns to normal, unfortunately. Those two weeks of holiday bliss are over and we go straight back to the hell of queuing in traffic.”
New rail fare increase will also come into force on Tuesday as passengers experience an average of 3.4 per cent rise in ticket prices. The increases will hit season tickets and off-peak leisure tickets.
The RMT is planning yet more strikes in January against SWR, Southern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and Arriva Rail North in the bitter row over guards.