High winds batter Portsmouth area

Hovercraft services were affected by the high winds
Hovercraft services were affected by the high winds
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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High winds caused disruption in the Portsmouth area today.

Early-morning hovercraft flights between Southsea and Ryde were cancelled, as was the 7am Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to Caen.

Drivers are urged to plan their journeys before they set out, checking the forecast and traffic conditions, to leave extra time for their journeys if travel conditions are poor, and to delay their journey if the weather becomes severe.

Drivers of high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes are advised to take extra care when travelling due to the increased risk of vehicles being blown over.

Police said that drivers are also reminded that rain and spray can reduce visibility.

Surface water may affect motorways and major roads after heavy rainfall.

Gusts of more than 50mph were recorded at Lee-on-the-Solent.

The strong winds were predicted to last throughout the day, although weathermen said they would ease this evening.

Rail passengers faced disruptions to their journeys yesterday after a huge tree fell on the tracks between Fareham and Portchester.

Network rail officials arranged for engineers to remove the obstruction from the line at 1.30pm.

People travelling to Portchester from Fareham had to get a bus.

Journeys to Portsmouth stations were unaffected because the tree didn’t block all of the lines.

Services began to run as normal from 4pm.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: ‘We apologise for the inconvenience that was caused to passengers.

‘We believe bad weather and strong winds caused the tree to fall on the line.

‘No trains were running when the tree came down. We made sure other trains kept to low speeds while it was removed.’