Storm Ciarán: Ferry and hovercraft services cancelled and trains changed in Portsmouth ahead of poor weather
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Storm Ciarán is set to hit the city this evening and pummel the city with “very strong winds” and “heavy rain” tonight and throughout tomorrow. Multiple weather warnings have been put in place by the Met Office, including an amber warning for blustery conditions between 6am and 5pm.
South Western Railway have announced an amended timetable for tomorrow and advises passengers to reconsider their journeys and make alternative arrangements if they can. A spokesperson said: “Storm Ciarán will bring heavy rain and strong winds to parts of our network and so, as a precaution, we are making temporary changes to our timetable on Thursday, November 2.
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"Because of the potential for disruption we’re asking our customers to consider if their journeys are entirely necessary. Customers may also wish to consider travelling on alternative days, as ticket acceptance is in place for today and Friday.
"We have been preparing for this storm with our colleagues at Network Rail, but we can’t rule out disruption in those areas of our network on Thursday. In the event of disruption, we won’t be able to run rail replacement bus services, so it’s really important that customers check their whole journey before setting off, if they do intend to travel.”
Trains from Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo via Basingstoke will change after Basingstoke, calling at Woking only. Services in the opposite direction will run as normal.
The London Waterlooville to Weymouth service will start and terminate at Bournemouth, with hourly shuttles between Bournemouth and Weymouth. Trains between London Waterloo and Salisbury will only run once an hour.
Multiple Wightlink ferry services between Portsmouth and Fishbourne have also be called off. A spokeswoman said: “With Storm Ciarán forecast to arrive in the Solent this evening, bringing winds up to 80 mph, Wightlink has cancelled six overnight crossings on its Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.
"They are the 10pm, 11.59pm and 3am departures from Portsmouth, and 1pm, 1am and 4am from Fishbourne. Wightlink has apologised to all customers booked on those sailings and moved them to alternative crossings.
"All other services are expected to run normally.” Any alterations to the timetable can be found on the Wightlink website.
Chief Executive Keith Greenfield said: “The weather forecast predicts very high winds over the Solent later today so we have decided to cancel six sailings when the storm is expected to be at its height. Safety is always our first priority.”
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A Brittany Ferries spokesman said most ferries sailing through Bay of Biscay today and tomorrow have been cancelled – the next Portsmouth departure taking place at 7pm to Bilbao. He added that there will be some move on board but the worst of the storm would hopefully have passed by the evening.
The last sailing to France left Portsmouth at 2pm, due to arrive in Caen at 7.15pm. Services from then have been cancelled, and will resume with the 8.15pm service to St Malo and the 11.30pm voyage to Le Havre.
A normal timetable is expected to return on Friday.