Kent weather warning: Passengers to endure disrupted rail services as gale force winds from Storm Doris reduce train speeds to 50mph
PUBLISHED: 08:41 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:08 23 February 2017
Restrictions will apply from 10am-5pm on coastal routes from Ashford to Ramsgate and 12pm-5pm on all other routes
Passengers across Kent are being warned of disrupted services today due to gale force winds from Storm Doris.
Rail bosses are insisting trains run at a reduced top speed of 50mph with the Southern and Southeastern networks set to be affected by the weather conditions.
Speed restrictions are used to keep passengers and staff safe during high winds, as trees and other objects can get blown onto the tracks.
With trains running at just 50mph, drivers are better able to bring trains to a halt if anything is spotted ahead.
Andy Derbyshire, chief operating officer of Network Rail’s south east route, said: “Gale force winds are forecast on Thursday, so we’re putting a 50mph speed limit in place when winds are strongest to limit the risk to passengers and staff should trees or other objects get blown onto the tracks.
“This is part of our standard planning for stormy weather, but it will mean changes to journeys for some passengers.
“Your safety is our top priority, so thank you for your understanding and please check before you travel.”
A Southern spokesperson said: “These speed restrictions will mean that we won’t be able to run our full service on some of our routes, leading to cancellations and delays.
“Our advice is to check before you travel for the latest information about your train.”
Ellie Burrows, train services director at Southeastern, added: “Some of our services tomorrow will be affected by the speed restrictions put in place by Network Rail as a safety measure due to the forecast bad weather.
“At present, restrictions will apply from 10am-5pm on coastal routes from Ashford to Ramsgate and Hastings to Battle; and midday-5pm on all other routes.
“We will continue to work with Network Rail to monitor the necessity of these important safety measures, but we advise all passengers to check before they travel and to allow more time for their journeys.”