Travel chaos spreads as bad weather continues to batter the UK


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The Independent Online

Flooding brought misery to Britain’s transport system on Tuesday as further gales threatened to bring yet more misery to rail and road users.

Winds of up to 80mph on Wednesday are expected to compound difficulties after train operators were forced to warn people simply not to travel as water levels continued to rise.

Travel chaos which has been confined to the storm-lashed South West spread to other areas including Wales and the busy commuter lines of the Thames Valley which bring millions of workers into the capital each day.

Landslips brought on by days of unrelenting rain saw engineers battle all day to restore services.


At Maidenhead in Berkshire the First Great Western (FGW) train company advised passengers not to travel between Paddington station in London and Reading.

South West Trains, Southeastern, Southern and CrossCountry were also affected whilst in the West Midlands, flooding between Bromsgrove and Barnt Green delayed London Midland and CrossCountry services. Services into London from Oxsted in Surrey were also cancelled

A 10-mile section of a busy M2 in Kent was closed after a 50ft-deep hole opened up in the central reservation. It brought long queues and delays to traffic heading to and from the port of Dover.

Meanwhile, snow hampered motorists in the Midlands and north of England. Cross-Pennine routes were blocked whilst treacherous driving conditions were reported on the A1 in Lincolnshire.

National Express, which is running extra coaches between Plymouth and London, said in advance sales have tripled on its Plymouth to Bristol services and doubled on its Plymouth to London route as travellers gave up on rail and switched to the road. South west England train services will be affected for around six weeks by the devastating damage to lines at Dawlish in Devon.