UK

Southeastern Delays Blamed On 'Strong Sunshine', But Met Office Says It Was More Likely The Angle

12/01/2016 18:00 GMT | Updated 30/03/2016 13:59 BST

Southeastern Trains tried a new excuse for delays to commuter services on Tuesday morning - blaming late departures on the strength of light from the sun.

However, the cause was more likely to have been the angle at which the sun rose, rather than its strength.

The Met Office told HuffPost UK that with Tuesday's clear skies accentuating sunlight, the perception on the ground would have been of an unusually high strength.

As the sun rises in the east, it's more likely that its particular angle on Tuesday caused the glare to hit vital safety screens, which Southeastern blamed for the delays.

What's more, as clear skies came after weeks of heavy cloud cover, drivers may have been more inclined to notice the glare in the first place.

The Met Office said: "This morning there were clear skies across southeast England, allowing bright winter sunshine as the sun rose. As for the strength, it may be that because this was the first time in a while that there was clear skies it was more noticeable.

"Of course, trains running towards the east would have been more affected because the sun rises in the east."

A Southeastern spokesperson said: "We know that sometimes it seems that if it's not leaves on the line or snow on the track then it is some other weather issue.

"But actually glare this morning made it impossible for some drivers to see the full length of their train in their mirrors before leaving stations.

"When this happens they have to get out and check to ensure everybody has got on or off their train safely before they can move. This can take a little more time but thankfully for all it doesn't happen very often."