Transport disruption and delays

Sparsely populated airport waiting lounge overlooking runways. A mother waits with her two children while two other lone individuals wait separately.

When travelling by car, bike, air, boat or by public transport it is important to consider how external factors such as poor weather could impact you. By planning ahead and preparing for each trip, you can ensure that your trip is as smooth and safe as possible. Check with the transport operator before travelling for the latest travel advice. 

If you need to travel in poor weather or other circumstances that could cause delays

  • Always tell someone your destination and what time you expect to arrive – allow extra time for your journey.
  • Take a fully charged mobile and charger with you.
  • Store one or more emergency contact numbers on your mobile phone or keep a written copy in your wallet or purse – use the ICE or Medical ID feature on your phone if it has one.

The Met Office has some seasonal travel advice on its website as well as useful travel weather contacts that can be used to check road conditions, find out about the traffic conditions, or see transport service updates and timetables.

Advice for driving in poor weather

  • Prepare for each trip and plan your journey accordingly, including finding alternative routes when needed.
  • It is worth packing a few essential items in your car boot to make sure you’re ready in case of getting stuck in wintry weather – this can include a torch, in-car phone charger, warm clothes and blankets, high visibility clothing, jump leads, food and drink, and a shovel (make sure you have any essential medication with you too.

National Highways provides further advice on travelling in severe weather.

Advice for cycling or wheeling in poor weather

  • Ensure you are visible to other road users by wearing bright and light reflective clothing – day or night.
  • If you’re not sure if it’s dark enough for lights it’s always best to put them on.

The Met Office has published advice on how to cycle in winter

Advice for travelling on public transport

  • If you are in an area directly affected by a transport incident, you should comply with all instructions issued by the emergency services and transport staff. Anyone else planning to travel would be advised to check with the transport operator before travelling for the latest travel advice.
  • If you receive a UK Government Emergency Alert while on public transport, you should follow the instructions of transport staff. 
  • If you are able, carry water with you when you travel – this is most useful in warm weather but can also be helpful at other times in case of any delays on your route. Ask staff if there is a free water refill point at the station. 
  • See it. Say it. Sorted. When using rail transport, remain vigilant for anything that seems out of place or unusual on trains or at stations, such as an unattended bag or someone who could be concealing something under their clothing. If you see something that doesn’t feel right, report it to British Transport Police, or tell a member of rail staff or a police officer. You can call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, text them on 61016 or report via the Railway Guardian app to find out more.