Disruption continues as city heads for wettest June ever

Passengers at Waverley Station in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Passengers at Waverley Station in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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EDINBURGH looks set to suffer the wettest June since records began.

With just today to go, the Capital has had more than 250 per cent of the monthly average rainfall for June, and forecasters have warned of more to come.

Met Office forecaster Dave Clarke said: “We have had 137.4mm of rain in Edinburgh this month so far.

“The average for June is 51mm, meaning we have had about 269 per cent of the norm.

“We’re still checking, but this could be a new record.”

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), which takes its own measurements, recorded a slightly higher total, with 144mm.

Stephan Helfer, who collates weather data for the Botanics, said: “In June 1997 we had 148.5mm of rainfall.

“That’s been the highest since records began in 1976 but we may well break that before this June ends.”

Though sunny spells are expected today, forecasters have warned of scattered showers developing towards the evening, some heavy with a risk of thunder.

Tomorrow should see more showers, with periods of heavy rain building up again on Monday and more wet weather spreading from the west the next day.

On Thursday, landslides caused by the deluge saw the rail link between Scotland and England cut off, with hundreds of commuters left stranded.

Sheila Gilmore, Labour MP for Edinburgh East, was one of those stranded in Newcastle.

She told the Evening News: “We were categorically told there would be no replacement buses, and that we would either need to make our own travel arrangements, or find a hotel to stay in, neither of which anyone would be compensated for.

“When I returned to the station to meet my son, who lives in Newcastle but had been away until later that evening, I discovered that there had been replacement bus services to Berwick – one was waiting when I arrived.

“However, the driver told me no further arrangements had been made to transport people from Berwick.

“You would think they would have some sort of contingency plan for when things go wrong, especially when you consider the other extreme weather conditions that have occurred recently.”

Yesterday afternoon, train operator East Coast confirmed a reduced hourly service had resumed between Edinburgh, Newcastle and London “until further notice”.

A later update on the company’s website said services were being delayed by up to 90 minutes.

Customers who had their journeys cancelled because of the weather can still use their tickets until the end of today.

However, disruption is still expected, with journey times likely to be extended by 90 minutes, and some trains normally departing from or bound for Edinburgh beginning and terminating service at Newcastle instead.

The Network Rail website advised customers to use alternative services to complete their journeys.

Further strain was put on services yesterday afternoon when damage to overhead wires at Lockerbie led to trains between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Carlisle being cancelled.

Replacement bus services saw journeys extended by up to 90 minutes.

Passengers were also told they could use their tickets on the already overstretched east coast main line.

An Edinburgh Airport spokesperson confirmed that by Friday all flights from Edinburgh to London were fully booked until Monday.

WASHOUTS

THE wet weather did its best to put a dampener on some major events throughout June.

On June 18, around 5700 women raising money for cancer charities in the Race for Life were drenched in the process. Breast cancer survivor Pamela Adams, who sounded the horn to start the race, said: “The weather may have been bad, but the atmosphere was amazing.”

A sudden heavy shower at the Royal Highland Show on June 21 saw part of the parade cancelled and some vehicles having to be freed from mud by tractors.

Even the Dalai Lama couldn’t escape the deluge, arriving in Scotland for a two-day visit last weekend amidst wet and windy weather.

He told those waiting to see him “not to stay in the cold too long”.