Local Rail Passengers Warned Of Weather Service Closures

Storm Emma causes rush hour travel chaos

South Western Railway passengers have been warned there is no guarantee they will get home tonight (March 2) as Storm Emma causes havoc across the south.

But the Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis has praised council staff for keeping services running during the current severe weather.

The council said despite the sub-zero temperatures and snowfall to have hit the borough this week, the vast majority of services have continued to operate.

Wimbledon snowHowever South Western Railway services will end far earlier than normal, and its information service will shut at 8pm.

In Merton, whilst some schools closed todayto ensure the safety of staff and pupils, day centres and a number of libraries have remained open, providing residents with much needed warmth and shelter from the cold weather and snow showers.

Nonetheless, highway officers and the Council’s waste management contractor Veolia have been working around the clock, making sure that Merton’s main roads and other essential services are able to function as normal. Street cleaning staff have been gritting footpaths outside schools, hospitals and major footways with the aim of keeping residents safe from the icy pavements. Gritting teams continue to be in operation and will be targeting key areas across the borough.

Meanwhile, Veolia have been working hard in the adverse weather conditions to collect residents’ waste. Due to the conditions, some roads have been inaccessible and residents are advised to leave their waste out, as teams attempt their utmost to reach all areas.

It said that all services were out on Friday morning with the exception of Bulky waste and Garden waste and one food waste crew. This is due to drivers being needed for the gritting operation. It added:

  • Refuse and recycling collections are delayed
  • No Bulky Waste collections on Friday
  • Street cleansing service are suspended with the exception of two crews that will be emptying bins and picking up green sacks where visible.

Merton Council’s Leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I have seen first-hand how our contractors  and council staff have been working tirelessly to keep our roads safe and our transport operations on the go, all doing their bit to keep Merton moving.

“We have experienced some of the worst weather in recent years, but the commitment demonstrated by our residents and staff to carry on as normal has filled me with immense pride as the leader of this borough.

“The safety of all our residents, including those who are vulnerable and elderly remains our number one priority and I am grateful to all the teams and council staff who are working to help local people during this unpredicatable weather.”

More information on how the severe weather is affecting the Council’s services, including information on gritting and school closures can be found on the Merton Council website.

AFC Wimbledon’s home match against Charlton tomorrow (March 3) was postponed earlier today because of the frozen Kingsmeadow pitch.

Earlier in the day, South Western Railway withdrew all train services on the Hounslow Loop and the line from Richmond into Waterloo due to weather conditions.

It warned that it would be finishing the day’s service earlier than normal, with the following last trains from Waterloo:

Portsmouth (via Guildford) - 18:00

Southampton - 18:05

Basingstoke and Alton - 19:23

Hampton Court - 21:06

Reading (via Richmond) - 21:20

Weybridge - 21:22

Woking - 21:25

Strawberry Hill (via Wimbledon) - 21:27

Windsor and Eton Riverside - 21:28

Guildford (via Cobham and Stoke D'Abernon) - 21:30

Strawberry Hill (via Twickenham) - 21:33

Guildford (via Epsom) - 21:39

Shepperton (via Wimbledon) - 21:42.

Its information service will shut at 8pm, and it warned there was no guarantee passengers would get to their destination in the evening.

You can also follow news on London Snow Twitter feed and get any news of travel disruption at TfL travel alert.

We would be delighted to receive your photos of snow scenes and will publish as many as we can - the pictures below were taken during this afternoon's snow flurry. Please send any images through to editor@wimbledonsw19.com.

Old Ruts sports ground in the snow

Old Rutlishians' Sports Ground in Merton Park, taken by Hazel Abbott

Wimbledon tram in the snow

Gladstone Road in the snow

Snowy Wimbledon rooftops

March 2, 2018

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Stephen Alambritis with the Garth Road gritters

Councillor Stephen Alambritis meets a member of the gritting team at the Merton Recycling and Reuse Centre at Garth Road

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