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Floods cause road and rail chaos

Many travellers endured another miserable morning on Tuesday as floods continued to cause road and rail chaos.

Many train services were disrupted, with the West Country again one of the worst-hit areas.

The North East of England also experienced rail problems, with buses having to replace trains on some routes.

Numerous roads were still impassable, with Worcestershire, County Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland among the most badly-affected areas.

To add to travellers' woes, a vehicle hitting a bridge led to delays to Greater Anglia train company passengers in Essex, while there were also delays to services in and out of London Bridge station.

Flooding caused disruption to train services at Darlington in north east England, with Durham, York, Darlington and Doncaster among stations affected.

In the West Country, the First Great Western (FGW) train company advised passengers not to travel in the Tiverton Parkway area. Trains were not running between Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St David's, and there were no CrossCountry services between Exeter St David's and Taunton.

Buses had to replace trains between Exeter St David's and Barnstaple in Devon. Services between Exeter St David's and Yeovil Junction resumed on Tuesday, but only on a limited basis.

Buses continued to replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Patchway and between Liskeard and Looe in Cornwall. FGW said it did not expect to be able to run its sleeper services.

Flooding also hit rail services in Wales. Buses had to replace trains between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

There were delays between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle due to flooding near Morpeth in Northumberland, while flooding at Hartlepool meant buses had to replace trains between Seaham and Middlesbrough.

A landslip continued to cause disruption in Surrey, with the Southern train company having to run a reduced service between London and Horsham in Sussex.

A lineside equipment problem caused disruption at Birmingham New Street, with trains travelling through the busy station being delayed.

Motorists had to contend with many flooded roads. Worcestershire was particularly badly affected. Among locations in the county with flooded roads were Worcester, Evesham, Alvechurch, Redditch and Norton.

In the North East, parts of the A19 and the A66 had to be closed due to flooding.

Many roads in Yorkshire had to be closed due to the floods. These included roads in Scarborough, Catterick, Stainton and Conisbrough.

Roads in Applethwaite and Keswick in Cumbria were shut, while routes in Sandbach and Crewe in Cheshire were also affected.

A landslip caused a road closure in Tysoe in Warwickshire, and other places in the county with closed roads included Knowle and Kenilworth.

Staffordshire roads hit by flooding included some in Hopwas, Barton-under-Needwood and Alrewas. Wiltshire locations hit included Bradford Leigh and Melsham, while the water levels also caused road closures at Church Stretton and Brockton in Shropshire.

In Wales, there was flooding on the A5 at Betws-y-Coed, while flooding also hit Llanberis. Strong winds were affecting traffic near Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll.

Flooding hit rail services in the Oxford area, with delays to trains between Oxford and Reading.

Passengers faced further disruption due to late-finishing engineering work which led to delays between Reading in Berkshire and Bedwyn in Wiltshire.

Passengers trying to use the East Coast Main Line were urged not to travel if their journey involved the York to Newcastle section.

"Overhead wire problems" at Darlington were to blame, according to the East Coast website.

The operator's Twitter feed said: "Due to flooding, we currently advise if journey involves York-Newcastle, please don't travel.

"Trains running elsewhere with some delays."

Staffordshire Police said flooding on the A38 near Burton-upon-Trent had caused severe congestion, completely closing the northbound carriageway between Barton and Clay Mills.

A police spokesman said: "Severe rush-hour traffic congestion has been caused in surrounding areas, including Lichfield and Burton, as a result of the closures.

"Motorists are warned to avoid the area unless travel is absolutely necessary."

Dragons' Den TV star Duncan Bannatyne was struggling to get to London from the North East, where he lives.

He tweeted: "Trying to get train from Darlington to Kings Cross. This might take a while."

An East Coast train company spokesman said: "We are advising passengers not to travel today between York and Newcastle due to problems with the track and infrastructure caused by flooding.

"The East Coast route is currently blocked in the Aycliffe area, north of Darlington, due to damage to the infrastructure. In addition there is continued flooding at Eryholme, south of Darlington.

"Services between York and Newcastle are expected to be disrupted throughout the rest of today and our advice to passengers whose journey involves travel between these destinations is not to travel today unless your journey is essential."

He went on: "We would like to apologise to passengers for the disruption caused to services today.

"We are working hard with infrastructure provider Network Rail to ensure passengers travelling today are able to complete their journeys. We thank customers for their patience during today's exceptional weather conditions."

Shortly after midday, East Coast was able to run a limited service between York and Newcastle and two trains an hour were operating between London and Edinburgh, via York, Darlington and Newcastle.

The company warned passengers to expect extended journey times this afternoon due to speed restrictions in place at locations between York and Durham.

By noon today, the AA had attended more than 5,000 breakdowns, including 118 incidents of cars being driven through, or stuck in, flood water.

Worse-affected areas were north east England and Essex. The AA said that drivers in Wales, where flooding has been severe, appeared to have heeded warnings about travel, as there had been few call-outs for patrol teams.

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