Storm Dennis: Nightmare weekend for reading week travel

Storm Dennis has disrupted travel and transport across Britain over the weekend.

Many students have planned trips away from London as reading weeks begin at some of London’s largest universities, including UCL, KCL, and Goldsmiths. Normal term-time resumes at other universities, including SOAS, this week.

Some students have told LondonStudent that they are unable to return to London due to the storm.

One student travelling to London from Hong Kong on Sunday told us that they were left stranded in Germany.

“We tried to land at Gatwick twice, then diverted to Frankfurt,” they said. “My flight has been delayed indefinitely, and I have class tomorrow. We don’t know when we’ll be leaving, but if we had arrived five minutes earlier, we would have touched down.”

This is the case for several students who have spoken to us, some of whom have said that they faced a 24-hour delay to their journies amid widespread disruption. Around 30% of flights from Gatwick and 60% Heathrow have been delayed by more than 30 minutes or cancelled, Inrix reports.

Yellow warning for rain

The Met Office issued yellow warnings for rain in parts of south and south-west London for Sunday morning. The rain cleared towards 17:00 in London, but weather warnings are expected to remain in place across other parts of the UK on Monday. A more severe amber warning for rain was in place around Gatwick Airport throughout Sunday, but Monday is expected to be drier in southern England.

Clouds to the south of Waterloo Bridge during Storm Dennis. Conditions improved towards the end of the day. Photo: Author.

South Wales was the worst area affected by Storm Dennis, where more than one month’s rain fell within 48 hours. Police in Ystradgynlais, near Swansea, said a man’s body was found in the River Tawe on Sunday morning.

Storm Dennis is also affecting National Rail routes across the country. In the London area, passengers were advised not to travel on some Great Northern, Thameslink, and Southern Rail routes. Great Western Railway passengers travelling towards south-west England faced disruption. LNER cancelled trains between London, Leeds, and Harrogate, offering passengers the opportunity to travel at later dates, the Metro reported.

Disruption is not expected to continue throughout the week, but some academics researching climate change hint that the weekend weather might be a sign of events to come.

Professor James Screen in Exeter tweeted: “With everyone talking about #StormCiara and #StormDennis, perhaps now is an apt time to mention we have a postdoc advertised to study how climate change … will affect storms and their impacts.”

Title image: Author.


Will is London Student's Features Editor. He has recently completed a BA History at SOAS, and you might find him hiding in a library around Bloomsbury.

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