Eurostar cancels services amid UK weather chaos

Eurostar cancels services amid UK weather chaos

Eurostar announced tonight it was cancelling all its services for tomorrow as the company strived to avoid a repeat of the chaos that saw thousands of passengers trapped in the Channel Tunnel for hours.

A spokesman said it would run test trains on Sunday to get to the bottom of the problems that caused widespread disruption.

“We certainly don’t want any of our travellers put in the position that they were last night and this morning,” he said.

A series of special trains had been planned for tonight to transport some people delayed by the chaos, but only one – destined for Paris – eventually left the station.

A Eurostar spokeswoman later said the other services were cancelled because of the adverse weather conditions.

“We have tried to run services but it’s not possible,” she said. “We don’t want a repeat of last night.”

Earlier in the day, Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown visited St Pancras as people arrived after their ordeal and blamed extreme weather conditions for the failure of four trains inside the tunnel.

Many passengers were left without food drink or power in the tunnel.

Mr Brown said all affected passengers will be offered a full refund, £150 compensation and a free return ticket.

Trapped passengers complained of their treatment during their ordeal as they finally arrived at St Pancras – many having spent more than 16 hours on trains and coaches before reaching their destination.

There was also disruption to flights following heavy snowfalls in parts of Britain and Europe.

EasyJet said it anticipated further disruption following news more snow is predicted overnight and tomorrow morning and advised passengers to check its website at easyJet.com to ensure their flight is not cancelled before going to the airport.

Kent Police said freight traffic was being turned around in an effort to allow the backlog of tourist traffic to pass through the county.

The decision came after the Port of Calais announced it was not accepting freight traffic amid continued delays for motorists on major routes in Dover and Folkestone.

Ferry services from Dover to Dunkirk, Boulogne and Calais will run an intensive shuttle service through the night to help clear the backlog of traffic.

The Port of Dover said tonight: “The roads in France remain passable with the exception of the A16 and N42 eastbound from Calais which are closed to coaches and lorries but remain open to cars.”

Car and coach customers intending to sail to Calais were advised not to set out for the port without checking with their operator first.

More snow is expected across the UK overnight causing more problems for travellers.

Michael Dukes, forecast manager for MeteoGroup UK, said it would not be as cold as last night which saw temperatures fall to -14C(7F).

He said: “Across the country we will see temperatures between -2C (28F) and -7C (19F) which will cause widespread ice and snow problems.”

He added northern England and Wales would be worst hit but snowfalls could reach 10cms on high ground in East Anglia and northern England.

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