Trains cancelled and delayed

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Hundreds of train passengers were left queuing for buses at Preston Railway Station after services were cancelled because of hazardous weather conditions.

Multiple Virgin trains travelling between London Euston and Glasgow Central were cancelled or delayed on Friday, with speed restrictions in place between Preston and Carlisle.

First TransPennine Express services from Manchester Airport to Preston were also affected and Northern Rail said trains from Manchester Piccadilly to Preston were delayed due to congestion on the line.

People were forced to queue from inside the station by its entrance ramp, across the walkway bridge and outside into Butler Street, then down towards the car park to catch free replacement buses to Carlisle, after originally queuing all the way round from Fishergate.

Gwen Carr, 46, and her children Emma and Alistair, from Glasgow, said they were returning from visiting family in London for Christmas.

She said: “There is no one to direct the queue so people are just pushing in further up.

“We’ve been queuing for over half and hour already.”

Andrew Johnson, 56, said his family were given “no idea” of how long they would have to wait to get home to Carlisle after visiting the capital.

He said: “We were directed to the wrong exit so we had to join the back of the queue.”

Joan Barnett, 78, from Manchester, said she was travelling to visit a friend in Penrith.

She said: “I think it’s ridiculous - there is one long queue for all of us.

“It was packed on the train. It was like a cattle market and I couldn’t breathe.”

Virgin Trains said all of its services north of Preston were running at reduced speeds because of high winds, adding an hour to journey times.

Virgin and First TransPennine Express said customers with tickets to and from stations north of Preston who chose not to travel on Friday could travel on any train on Saturday, or apply for a full refund from their point-of-sale.

Meanwhile, firefighters said high winds caused a large tree to fall overnight on Thursday across the road on the A59, near to Brockholes Brow off Junction 31 of the M6.

Traffic was diverted by the Highways Agency up to Junction 31A, until the tree could be safely removed on Friday morning.




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