Preparing for the impacts of severe weather on road, rail and air travel is not just the responsibility of the transport operators. We can all help to make their job easier when winter does its worst.
It's sometimes said that the UK can experience four seasons in one day and most of the time our transport operators do a fantastic job, keeping things moving whatever the weather. It's during winter though when transport networks face the biggest weather challenges. We must accept that there are times when severe weather will cause disruption.
On the roads ice makes driving difficult while snow will make things worse still. It's not just Christmas card weather that causes problems though. Heavy rain can flood roads; high winds will bring down trees and other debris and can even topple high-sided vehicles. Fog is not just a nuisance - it can be a real danger too.
Railways can cope better with small amounts of snow but even the biggest train won't get through deeper snow drifts. Flooding can affect railways just as much as roads, and high winds can bring down the overhead lines that some electric trains rely on. Falling leaves can cause problems which will be worse in certain weather conditions than others.
Most days, airports and airlines cope well with our weather. However when weather disruption does affect air, travel it's usually because the weather is very severe. That means the disruption can be equally severe. Airports and airlines have plans in place to minimise this disruption, but it sometimes means reducing the number of flights. It might seem the wrong thing to do but it helps to maximise the number of flights that can beat the weather and it helps get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
Take a look at GoEuro - Compare and combine all your coach, train and flight options within the UK and across Europe in one single search.
For Scotland-wide public transport service updates - Traveline Scotland
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Travel by coach
During severe weather coach drivers too will need to adjust their driving for the safety of passengers and timetables can be disrupted. It's a good idea to check the traffic and weather when you're travelling by coach. Don't forget even if the weather is fine where you are, there is still a possibility the coach could have been delayed by bad weather earlier on its route. Check with the operator to be sure.
During severe weather ferry operators may have to delay or cancel crossings. Keep up to date with the latest travel information via your ferry operators website or their twitter feed.
Stay weather aware this winter by following the Met Office on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube for the latest weather information. You can also sign up for severe weather alerts from us through the Twitter Alerts programme, providing critical information directly to your phone. Find out more about how to sign up for Met Office Twitter alerts
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