Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Getaway Gets off to a Slow Start with Rail and Air Delays

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Getaway Gets off to a Slow Start with Rail and Air Delays

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross lydall, Rashid Razaq and Sri Carmichael

TRAVELLERS were today hit by more delays and cancellations as the great Christmas getaway fell victim to the weather.

Dozens of flights were cancelled, thousands queued outside St Pancras station in the hope of catching a Eurostar train, and commuters were trapped on peak-hour trains for hours.

EasyJet cancelled 50 flights across Europe -- including 12 at Stansted, 10 at Gatwick and four at Luton -- while delays were reported at other London airports.

An estimated 2,000 people queued along Euston Road as they waited for hours to secure a Eurostar seat. Belgian couple Catherine Creveis and Mathieu Verbeeck started queuing at 9am and were still waiting at midday to catch a train home to Brussels to spend Christmas with their family.

Ms Creveis said: "It's been horrible. It's been raining and cold. We were booked to travel today. I'm just relieved that we can actually catch a train today after what happened at the weekend."

Bill Ward, 27, a chef and Stacey Lulham, 27, a lawyer, from Shoreditch, east London, were booked on the 8.30 train to Paris but were still queuing at midday.

Ms Lulham said: "We were meant to be spending Christmas in Paris and as long as we get there today I don't mind however long we have to queue."

A Eurostar spokeswoman said the AFTER the big freeze, today could see the beginning of the big thaw, with temperatures rising across Britain, say forecasters. Although the temperatures plunged to -16C in some parts of Britain last night, and below -5C in the capital, they were set to rise today across the South-East. Met Office forecasters said the freezing weather, caused by icy winds from Eastern Europe, was beginning to move away. Temperatures were likely to stay above freezing today but untreated pavements and roads could still be dangerous.

backlog of passengers from Saturday and Sunday had now been cleared and that all passengers meant to travel up until today would be able to catch a train by this evening. …

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