St Jude storm to bring travel disruption despite North escaping the worst

Commuters face a day of disruption - even though the North East will miss the brunt of the St Jude storm

Yui Mok/PA Wire Commuters at Euston Station, London
Commuters at Euston Station, London

Commuters face a day of disruption - even though the North East will miss the brunt of the St Jude storm.

With 80mph winds and torrential rain battering the south of England and Wales many rail services are running to alternative timetables, with some East Coast trains cancelled.

The wet weather caused by the storm - named after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is today - is forecast to be at its worst during this morning’s rush hour with motorists advised to care extra care and allow extra time for journeys.

And despite the low pressure system expected to track far to the south the Met Office’s chief forecaster Frank Saunders is advising families to keep an eye on the agency’s latest updates in case things change.

“We are confident that a severe storm will affect Britain on Monday,” he said. “But we are now looking at refining the details about which areas will see the strongest winds and the heaviest rain.

“This is a developing situation and we’d advise people to stay up to date with our forecasts and warnings, and be prepared to change their plans if necessary.

“We’ll continue to work closely with authorities and emergency services to ensure they are aware of the expected conditions.”

Network Rail also warned there is likely to be disruption to trains from fallen trees and localised flooding and anyone from the North East planning to travel south by train was advised to check with their train company before leaving to ensure services are running.

While Martin Hobbs, head of asset resilience at the Highways Agency, said: “Be aware of sudden gusts of wind and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space.”

St Jude, whose name has been given to the storm battering England, has been described as the saint to call on in seemingly impossible situations.

In the Roman Catholic Church he is the patron saint of lost causes and his feast day is today.

Jude was one of Jesus’s 12 apostles chosen to spread the gospel.

Also known as Thaddeus, he is said to have been born into a Jewish family in Palestine and, according to legend, he brought Christianity to Armenia.

The ancient St Thaddeus Monastery still exists in what is now northern Iran.

Details of his life are scarce but it is believed that in about 60AD he wrote a letter to the persecuted churches of the East.

In it he stressed the importance of persisting despite facing severe circumstances, as their forefathers had done before them.

He is said to have been martyred around five years later and his body was taken to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Elsewhere in the UK, as the storm began to make it’s presence felt the high winds caused an 89ft wind turbine to blow over in a field in Devon.

Firefighters also dismantled a smaller turbine from the roof of a house in Ilfracombe - which was in “a precarious position”.

Meanwhile in nearby Cornwall, a family of four escaped unhurt after a tree hit their house.

Two children and their parents were sleeping when the tree crashed through their roof at about 1am yesterday.

It has been reported the shaken family have decided to stay in a hotel amid fears more trees could fall in the hurricane-force winds.

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