Storm Beryl: What is the impact on Britain’s economy?

For weeks, the UK’s emergency services have been active across the country to support rescue efforts. “We’ve had incidents from West Country through to northern parts of Scotland, putting resources across the whole country, putting search and rescue vehicles on standby.”

However, the drama that began on Monday night has a lasting impact on the UK’s infrastructure, with severe disruption expected to exist for days.

“Storm Beryl has played havoc with the transport network for many millions of people,” says Caroline Plumb, the chief executive of the Association of British Insurers.

Manufacturing infrastructure in the North East of England was also disrupted. “One of the industries that we rely on here in the North East is steel works, and these steel works in particular are down,” she adds.

In Northumberland, the port of Gateshead is being used to unload carrier ships containing vehicles destined for the US that were grounded in Wales or had to wait for clearance from the UK Border Agency to start their journeys.

Divers, police and firefighters are among those working at evacuated areas across the coast.

The danger in buildings is gradually diminishing. “Tonight will be the calm before the storm. Tomorrow will be the eye of the storm. Saturday will be the squall line,” Ms Plumb says.

“And then it will continue until we have a normal sunny day like a Sunday and Monday. That really will be the third and final phase of Storm Beryl,” she adds.

Storm Beryl (not included in the above chart) is expected to bring up to 80mph gusts to northern parts of Scotland.

Brian Henson, the head of professional indemnity practice at the UK insurance broker Towers Watson, said it is early days to assess how the impact will be on the economy.

“Many of these resources will need to come down. They will require more fuel, more aviation fuel, even more diesel, so it will raise demand for oil. That in turn will increase oil prices.”

The situation on the road is similar. A jam-packed trunk road in Wales is bearing the brunt of Storm Beryl.

Overseas students travelling home from Cardiff University are being told to avoid the area.

“We have had to create bus services for students, some of whom have left already, some have just arrived this morning,” said the student union president Jean Thorne.

Some students are only getting half a day of class before the journey home.

The gridlock has been so bad that many students in Wales have had to abandon their journeys home to be with their families instead.

“Students spent today at university, but were told by the university to avoid the A470 on their way home, which is a four-lane dual carriageway, and they were absolutely gutted,” says Mr Thorne.

“So they put up tents in front of the university. It’s like being back at high school. The feeling of despair, of frustration.”

The National Union of Students, which represents 2.4 million students, says it is concerned by the impact on future academic and internships.

It is also running a petition on its website for Welsh students to be able to apply for loans while still at university – on top of loans that universities already offer for students who are doing summer jobs to earn money.

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