Storm Eva on the way as weather warnings are issued
All the latest travel details for the festive season as traffic levels are at their heaviest in years
Storm Eva is about to hit Ireland. Liam Donegan with sons Bill, Ollie and Frankie in bad weather outside Newgrange on Monday. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
Christmas shoppers on Henry St in Dublin this week. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Storm Eva is about to hit Ireland ahead of Christmas Day with wind gusts of 120km/hr expected.
As Christmas shoppers grab the last of the items on their lists, Met Éireann has issued two new weather warnings.
A developing storm is expected to bring severe winds to the coastal counties and start in west and northwest of Ireland on Wednesday from midday.
The second highest weather alert, orange, for wind is in place for Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Clare from midnight on Wednesdya.
Gusts are expected to reach 120km/hr from 4pm-9pm and wind speeds of 65km/hr.
Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford have been issued with a yellow alert wind warning also until Wednesday night.
This warning is the loweest alert and tells people to “be aware” in these areas so they can take preventative action.
Gusts will reach 110km/hr in the evening with wind speeds of 60-65km/hr.
Forecasts currently predict Christmas Eve, on Thursday, will be cold with sunny spells and blustery hail, rain and sleet showers.
Highest temperatures during the day will reach 7 degrees and during the night it will drop between 0-3 degrees with frost in some areas.
It will be a cold and sunny start to Christmas Day, however, wet and windy weather will develop around midday and spread across the country.
Temperatures will reach 10 degrees and rise to 14 on St Stephen’s Day, which will be mild and breezy with patches of rain.
Commuters have been asked to plan ahead as public transport providers issue revised festive schedules.
AA Roadwatch has predicted a very busy festive season, with traffic levels at their heaviest in recent years and unlikely to relent over the season.
Most garages will be closed for the festive break, so the AA is reminding motorists of the importance of carrying out basic maintenance checks before they set off on significant trips, such as filling up on petrol, checking and cleaning headlights, and adjusting tyre pressures for a full load, if required.
Both the AA Roadwatch and AA Rescue teams will be working over the Christmas period, and have advised commuters to to fuel-up in advance using the correct fuel type and to carry a repaired spare wheel.
Dublin Airport is expecting more than 925,000 passengers to pass through over Christmas - an 18 per cent increase over last year.
Cork Airport will have more than 100,000 passengers on 700 flights, with January 2nd its busiest day after Christmas, while Shannon Airport is expecting its busiest Christmas in five years.
Iarnród Éireann expects up to 400,000 Intercity journeys to be made across the network over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
The company is advising customers to book online at irish railand to allow extra time at stations in major cities.
Customers are advised to check their times before travelling on Intercity, Dart and Commuter services, as there are schedule alterations throughout this time each day.
Up to and including Wednesday, December 23rd, normal schedules on all routes are continuing, except bus transfers between Carrick-on-Shannon and Longford and between Ennis and Limerick, due to flooding on the line.
Full information on bus transfer arrangements, and any further updates, are available on the Irish Rail website.
On Christmas Eve, Intercity services will operate a regular weekday service, with some alterations until approximately 9pm.
Connolly and Cork commuter services will operate a regular Saturday service until about 9pm.
Heuston commuter services will operate a regular weekday service until about 8pm.
There will be no Dart services on Christmas Day or St Stephens’s Day.
On Sunday, December 27th, Intercity services will operate a Sunday service with some alterations, while Dart and Commuter services will operate a regular Sunday service.
Fares for late night services will be charged at normal rates, meaning customers can use Leapcard and buy cash fares for the cheapest Christmas travel option.
Holders of weekly, monthly and annual season tickets will be able to use the service at no extra charge.
There is no Dublin Bus Nitelink service on Thursday, December 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th.
A special premium rate applies to taxis from 8pm on Christmas Eve to 8am on St Stephen’s Day, and between 8pm on New Year’s Eve to 8am on New Year’s Day.
There is an initial charge of €4.00 for up to 0.5km or 85 seconds, and a tariff of €1.75 per kilometre or €0.62 per minute applies.
There will be no services on Christmas Day. St Stephen’s Day sees reduced services offered, with routes only travelling at specific times throughout the day.
Adjustments to regional and inter-city routes over the festive season are also included in the timetable.
Services will return to normal Saturday timetable services on January 2nd, with a small number of exceptions.
The Aircoach service to and from Dublin Airport will not be in operation on Christmas Day and there will be different times on Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day.
Full normal service will operate on all other days including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. See aircoach.ie for full Christmas and New Year’s timetables on all routes.