Revellers To Celebrate New Year’S Eve Defying Weather Warnings And Rail Strikes

Revellers To Celebrate New Year’S Eve Defying Weather Warnings And Rail Strikes

New Year’s Eve revellers preparing to see in 2018 across the country face blustery conditions and travel disruption.

Storm Dylan brought winds of up to 76mph to parts of the UK on Sunday and the “lively weather” looks set to continue into the evening, the Met Office said.

Organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay have said the event will go ahead as planned after the city experienced some of the worst conditions earlier in the day.

Prince’s Street, where celebrations are set to take place, was temporarily closed to pedestrians in the afternoon due to “weather-related debris”.

More than 100,000 ticket-holders are expected to watch London’s New Year’s Eve firework display from the banks of the River Thames.

Showers will gradually ease off throughout the evening and skies will become clearer for the midnight show, but there is a small chance of showers, the Met Office said.

Temperatures of around 6C (43F) are forecast in the capital and it will remain quite breezy.

Steven Keates, Met Office forecaster, said: “If I was going, I’d take a coat and obviously if you are being risk averse, take a brolly as well just in case. But hopefully it should be a bit drier by midnight.”

Spectators flocking to the sold-out fireworks display have been urged to remain vigilant and report concerns to police.

Scotland Yard has confirmed fewer Metropolitan Police officers will be working during the celebration, despite the capital being hit by four terror attacks in 2017.

But Superintendent Nick Aldworth said the force will have the “right response” at “the right locations”.

He said: “The policing plan has been developed and reviewed following the tragic incidents that have occurred through the year.

“Whilst there is no specific threat to this event, we ask people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to an officer or event staff.

“We will have the right response of officers at the right locations; this will be a mix of overt and covert officers deployed, as well as dogs, and the use of CCTV and automatic number plate recognition.”

Armed police patrol on the River Thames by the London Eye ahead of the firework celebrations (John Stillwell/PA)

Meanwhile, party-goers hitting the capital have been warned to prepare for rail disruption due to strike action, particularly to services in and out of London Waterloo.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on South Western Railway (SWR) and CrossCountry have walked out for 24 hours in long-running disputes on issues including the role of guards on trains.

Andy Mellors, managing director of SWR, said services will be reduced and are likely to be “exceptionally busy”.

He said: “I urge you to bear this in mind when planning your travel, and if you are coming to watch the fireworks you may face long queues and crowded stations on the way home.”

This year’s London fireworks will feature a soundtrack dominated by female artists to mark the centenary of women being granted the vote.

Songs by Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Florence Welch will be among those included in the women-only second half of the world-famous show.

Big Ben’s famous bongs will ring out at midnight, having been turned back on during the festive period, before more than 10,000 fireworks light up the sky during the 12-minute display.

In Edinburgh, tens of thousands of people are expected to welcome in the new year at the Hogmanay celebrations – one of the world’s biggest street parties.


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