Floods cause misery for travellers

Rail passengers and motorists have endured further travel misery with train services disrupted and many roads closed by flooding.

To add to commuters' difficulties, there were signal failures on some national rail services as well as late-running engineering work which also affected the Tube.

West Country train services were, once again, among the worst hit. In Devon, a landslip at Honiton and flooding at Axminster meant that buses had to replace trains between Exeter St David's and Yeovil Junction, and flooding led to no trains being able to run between Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St David's.

Buses also had to replace trains on a number of routes including Exeter St David's and Barnstaple and between Liskeard and Looe in Cornwall. A tree on the line meant that a bus replacement service also had to run between Truro and Falmouth Docks in Cornwall.

In the West Midlands, towns with flooded roads included Castle Bromwich, Midford-on-Avon, Knowle, Kenilworth, Polesworth and Nuneaton. A fire at Langley Green meant no trains were able to run between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stourbridge Junction, with disruption likely to last until around 5pm.

In Berkshire, there was flooding on routes in Hare Hatch, Winnersh and Lambourn, while Andover in Hampshire and Bathford Hill and Melksham in Wiltshire were also hit. Somerset roads flooded included some in Cleeve, Othery and West Wick and there was also flooding at Mylor Bridge in Cornwall.

By 1pm on Monday, the AA had attended more than 7,000 breakdowns, including 161 cars either driven through, or stuck in, flood water. The biggest concentration of breakdowns was in north east England, while nationally the call-outs were averaging 1,100 an hour.

The AA said it expected to have attended up to 15,000 breakdowns by the end of the day, compared with around 10,500 on a normal Monday.

AA special operations head Darren Burness said: "Unfortunately a minority of drivers continue to have a misplaced confidence in the capability of both their vehicle and their own driving ability.

"Drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles are not immune from the risks either. So if you enter water that's too deep or too fast, you still risk swamping it and destroying the engine or being swept away."