Britain on flood alert AGAIN as heavy rain sparks Christmas travel misery

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Britain on flood alert AGAIN as heavy rain sparks Christmas travel miseryFlood water in Cupar, Scotland. PA



Britons travelling for the Christmas holiday face rail failures and flooded roads as the wet weather continues and hopes of a white Christmas fade.

The Environment Agency has issued 106 flood warnings, 307 flood alerts and four severe flood warnings stretching from the south-west to the north, with the worst hit areas in the south-west of the country.

The Daily Telegraph reports that many rivers, including the Severn, Trent, Yorkshire Ouse and Derwent continue to rise following torrential rain.

Severe flood warnings, which the Environment Agency states as a 'danger to life', are currently in place in Devon at Braunton and Cornwall at Helston and from Trekeivesteps to Lostwithiel.

The Met Office has issued amber weather warnings for heavy rain in south-west England, Wales, Yorkshire and Humber, central Scotland and the Grampians for Saturday through Sunday morning.

Residents in Helston, Cornwall were evacuated overnight after river levels rose and the Environment Agency warned that widespread flooding was 'imminent', Sky News reported.

Meanwhile, there are no trains between Plymouth and Tiverton Parkway or Taunton, and a rail replacement bus service running from Exeter St Davids to Tiverton Parkway and Taunton.

National Rail said that First Great Western and CrossCountry services are accepting each other's passengers.

Sky News reports a major signalling problem at Preston Park causing major disruption near Brighton and diversions are in place with trains between Brighton and Gatwick travelling half-hourly.

Britain on flood alert AGAIN as heavy rain sparks Christmas travel miseryTraffic on the M6 near Walsall, Friday 21 December. PA



Signalling problems have also been reported on some CrossCountry and London Midland routes in and around Birmingham.

On the roads, the M25, the M6 in the West Midlands, the M5 near Bristol, the M1 near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire and the M62 near Warrington in Cheshire are expected to be among the worst for traffic, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a Highway's Agency spokesman said: 'Road users are advised to take extra care when driving on motorways and major trunk roads this weekend as heavy rain is set to continue across the country.

'Heavy rain already affecting the south west will move quickly north and east across all areas through the morning and early afternoon, bringing the possibility of localised flooding.

'The persistent rain will clear the east early afternoon, but will be followed by showers, which are expected to be fairly frequent particularly in the south west.

'It is also expected to be a particularly busy weekend on the roads as people finish off their Christmas shopping, schools have broken up and families start heading off to visit friends and relatives.'

Yesterday was reportedly the busiest day for travel over the Christmas holidays with four million people travelling by road or rail.

It doesn't look like there will be snow on Christmas Day either as Leon Brown of The Weather Channel tells AOL Travel 'an extremely wet period up until Christmas' is expected.

He said: 'The weather remains very unsettled after Christmas too with bands of heavy showers and then more wet weather and the risk of gales. The trend towards new Year is to turn colder so snow falling over higher ground in the north.'

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