Xmas getaway misery for millions

The Christmas getaway is well under way, but there is severe disruption on parts of the road and rail network

The Christmas getaway is well under way, but there is severe disruption on parts of the road and rail network

First published in National News © by

People heading off for the great Christmas getaway are finding their travel plans in peril as rail failures and floods stall journeys for millions.

Flood warnings across the UK are hampering the road network, while rail services have also been crippled.

But delays at London Paddington train station have now been cleared, National Rail said on its website. Trains are now running normally to and from the station following a signalling problem near Hayes and Harlington in west London that started on Thursday.

First Great Western warned that because of flooding disrupting services to the South West, services operating between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads towards Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance will terminate at either Taunton or Tiverton Parkway in both directions while services due to operate through to or from Penzance will start or terminate at Exeter St David's.

A major signalling problem caused by a fire on Friday that affected electrical cables and railside signalling equipment at Preston Park is also causing major disruption near Brighton. Diversions are in place, trains between Brighton and Gatwick airport are travelling half-hourly and rail passengers are able to use buses.

A landslip has caused rail problems in the Glazebrook area near Warrington. The First TransPennine Express service from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Piccadilly will be diverted via Newton-le-Willows, and buses are replacing trains from Warrington Central to Manchester Oxford Street. There is also a reduced service running from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street.

Meanwhile, the Highways Agency warned of disruption on roads across the country due to flooding.

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