Further travel chaos after floods

Blackpool Citizen: A man cycles through floodwater as torrential downpours cause flash floods in Hebburn (APl) A man cycles through floodwater as torrential downpours cause flash floods in Hebburn (APl)

Floods have wrecked road and rail travel again, with major train routes affected and some highways shut to traffic.

The two main London to Scotland train companies - East Coast and Virgin West Coast - saw services disrupted.

The storms, which led to the death of teacher Mike Ellis in Shropshire, also resulted in a spate of road closures, particularly in Worcestershire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

While transport continued to be disrupted there was better news from forecasters who predicted that the worst of the storms were over, at the end of a month likely to be one of the wettest Junes on record.

Due to flooding and a landslip near Berwick, trains had been cancelled between Newcastle and Berwick. The line has now reopened with East Coast running an hourly service between London and Edinburgh.

The landslip at Spittal, south of Berwick, had deposited more than 40 tonnes of earth on to the track and washed away embankments supporting the line. East Coast expects to operate a near-normal service between London and Leeds and between London and Newcastle.

Passengers have spoken of enduring a 15-hour London to Scotland rail journey due to flooding and landslips. In a separate incident on Thursday, passengers on a 5.20pm Birmingham to Glasgow Virgin Trains service did not arrive in Glasgow until 4am on Friday after an engine fire forced an evacuation.

Northern Powergrid said around 3,000 customers were still without power following the storms - down from 23,000 on Thursday night. The worst-hit areas include Consett, Whitley Bay, Prudhoe, Shiremoor and Stanhope.

North Tyneside's elected mayor, Linda Arkley, paid tribute to those involved in the response to the storm. "I know this remarkable downpour, which caused flooding across the borough, has been a very frightening experience for people involved," she said.

"More than 200 incidents included evacuating 12 residents with learning disabilities from Manor Park Care Home in Whitley Bay, coming to the aid of residents on oxygen therapy, and coming to the aid of a 101-year old woman and her 75-year-old son."

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