Published on : Monday, November 1, 2021
Rail travel routes for delegates heading to Cop26 in Glasgow, including the Environment Minister, Zac Goldsmith, have been blocked after stormy weather swept through the UK bringing suspected tornadoes to parts of the country.
Operators for the east and west coast mainlines advised customers against travelling from London to Glasgow on Sunday, leaving politicians, scientists and campaigners stranded or forced to consider other methods of travel to the UN climate conference, including by road or air.
The operator said a train carrying dozens of delegates to the climate summit would need to be evacuated after an object hit power lines. It was held at Milton Keynes and several Cop attenders including Lord Goldsmith were onboard.
London North Eastern Railway, which operates trains to Glasgow on the east coast mainline, also advised customers against travelling after it said overhead wires at Peterborough had been damaged.
The problem caused several hours of delay to passengers including the climate change scientist Simon Lewis, who was travelling to Cop26 to advise Central African Governments.
Krish Kandiah, a global ambassador said that their public transport infrastructure is unreliable; if they have to green our economy, public transport needs to work for people to give up their cars and planes. They are arriving a very significant climate conference and the British public transport doesn’t seem to be up for the task.
On Saturday Avanti announced a special “climate train” between the Netherlands and Scotland to transport activists and politicians to Cop26.
To mark the journey, which the operator said, showcased the importance of rail travel in the battle against the climate crisis, the rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said, trains were one of the most sustainable ways for people to travel.
Gusts of more than 60 mph were recorded in the UK overnight after an area of low pressure from the Atlantic brought stormy weather. Yellow weather warnings for wind and rain are in place across the west of the country.
Meteorologist Tom Morgan said he could not confirm that parts of the country had experienced tornadoes overnight but he could not rule it out.
In the last couple of days they have seen some reports and seen some photos of funnel clouds and water spouts, which are similar to tornadoes.