Huge downpours cause travel chaos in UK

Flooding has blocked rail lines across northern England, and replacement bus services are also unable to travel.

Train lines have been overwhelmed by flooding across northern England [File photo: 2010/Luke MacGregor/Reuters]
Train lines have been overwhelmed by flooding across northern England [File photo: 2010/Luke MacGregor/Reuters]

Torrential rain has caused disruption on the transport network in parts of England, with train and road users urged against travelling on certain routes.

Several rail lines are blocked due to flooding, leaving thousands of commuters facing a struggle to get to work on Friday morning, with Yorkshire and the North West particularly affected.

This includes lines from Sheffield to destinations such as Leeds via Moorthorpe, Lincoln, Doncaster and Goole.

Trains are also unable to run on routes such as Manchester Piccadilly-Cleethorpes, Leeds-Doncaster and Hebden Bridge-Rochdale.

Rail replacement bus services are not being provided due to road closures and unsafe driving conditions.
Motorists have also been advised against driving through deep water.

Network Rail, which owns Britain’s rail infrastructure, said track inspections will take place “where possible”.

Rail firm Northern warned that disruption could continue into the weekend despite the weather improving in many areas.

A spokesman said: “We are still advising customers on several routes not to travel as flooding is making rail and road travel extremely difficult.

“Colleagues at Network Rail are inspecting the tracks and working hard to return them to normal, but at present, we have no estimate as to when we will be able to operate services on the affected routes.”

He added that Northern will “try to run as many services as possible”.

Other train companies hit by the weather include CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, LNER, Merseyrail, TransPennine Express, Transport for Wales and Chester, and Virgin Trains.

The downpours also caused disruption on roads as several routes were blocked and some vehicles were abandoned in floodwater.

Sheffield City Council said 14 of its roads were closed due to flooding as of 7am, and urged drivers to take extra care.

Six of the roads were reopened by 8:20am.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “If you encounter any floods be very conscious of not driving through water that is too deep as this could very easily lead to catastrophic damage.

“Try to assess the depth by looking at the kerb or road signs and, if you decide it’s safe to go through, drive at a steady speed so as not to create a bow wave, and try to use the highest part of the road. If there is any doubt, then it’s probably best to turn around and take another route.”

AA spokesman Ben Sheridan said: “Heavy rain coupled with busy weekend traffic can make for some very challenging driving conditions. Drivers will need to take extra care and expect delays, even on motorways.

“Driving conditions can quickly deteriorate during very heavy rainfall, with drains becoming swamped or blocked and standing water causing problems such as surface spray, reduced visibility and potentially leading to flooding.”

Source: News Agencies

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