Trains, planes and automobiles

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.

Quick links - contact information for travel operators

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

Rail travel - find out more

National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail

Travel by air - find out more

Directory of all airlines

National Air Traffic Services

Travel by road - find out more

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.

National Express coaches

National Express coach tracker


Find a coach operator

Cross-channel services and other ferries

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.

Eurostar travel information

Eurotunnel travel updates

Port of Dover (for ferry travel service updates)

Brittany Ferries service updates

Condor Ferries sailing updates

DFDS Seaways travel updates

Irish Ferries service updates


P&O Ferries travel updates

StenaLine Ferries travel updates

Red Funnel ferries service information

Wightlink Ferries service updates

Isle of Man Steam Packet travel updates 

Manx Ferries information

Isle of Scilly travel information

Other travel

Transport for London (London Underground, London Buses, Docklands Light Railway) service updates

Manchester Metro service updates

Croydon Tramlink service updates

Edinburgh Trams service information

Weather alerts straight to your phone

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


The Met Office is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More information

car driving through Yorkshire snow Road travel

Keeping you moving

Train tracks with autumn leaves Rail travel

Advice on travelling by rail when severe weather is forecast

plane on snowy runway Flights

Advice on winter weather and your flight.

Car dashboard in snow Driving in severe weather

Tips for driving in severe weather

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