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Stormy conditions ahead for Staffordshire's Christmas travellers

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 23, 2013

By Kerry Ashdown

1448140-MV_SNCL231213Stafford Weath-05
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RESIDENTS planning their Christmas getaways have been warned to expect disruptions and delays as Britain braces itself for gales and storms.

The worst of the wind and rain is expected to strike the south, but rail services across the country are preparing themselves for challenging conditions.

London Midland, which serves Stone, Stafford, Penkridge and Rugeley, has advised passengers to complete any rail journeys today by mid-evening.

The operator is allowing advance tickets for today and tomorrow to be used on any departure today. And extra staff will also be deployed at London Midland stations to help customers.

Virgin, which runs Stafford’s railway station, said it was expecting delays and disruptions from mid-afternoon and tickets booked for specific trains would be accepted on any service.

Network Rail was expecting to apply a 50mph speed limit between London Euston and Birmingham New Street and Rugby and Nuneaton from this afternoon, Virgin said, meaning it would not be able to run a full service. It did plan to run services on routes, but with fewer trains than normal between London and Manchester and London and Birmingham.

Crosscountry, which also runs services that call at Stafford, said it planned to run a normal service today but advised passengers to check their journeys before travelling in case of disruption.

Those planning to venture out on the roads have also been warned to check traffic and weather conditions by the Highways Agency.

John McTaggart, head of on-road services at the Highways Agency said: “Road users are urged to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on the strategic road network.

“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow the clearly signed diversion routes.”

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