UK hit by heavy rain and strong winds

Key points

  • Heavy rain and strong winds are disrupting road, rail and sea travel ahead of the Christmas break in parts of the UK
  • About 3,000 homes and businesses in Cornwall are without power, while 9,000 are without power in Berkshire
  • The Met Office has issued amber - be prepared - warnings for rain in Wales, east, south-west and south-east England
  • The Met Office has also issued amber warnings for wind for Northern Ireland, east and south-east England, London and north-west Scotland
  • Many train services are affected and there is disruption on the roads, with people advised to make only "essential" journeys
  • The QEII Bridge at Dartford in Kent and the Tamar Bridge, linking Devon and Cornwall, are both closed

Live text

Reporting:

  • Gerry Holt 
  • Kerry Alexandra 
  • Keith Moore 

Last updated 23 December 2013

STANDARD 0520

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage as severe weather is expected to disrupt transport in parts of the UK. We'll bring you the latest developments as they happen throughout the day.

STANDARD 0523

Amber and yellow warnings of severe weather have been issued by the Met Office. There is a list of affected regions on its website.

STANDARD 0526

A number of train companies say they expect services to be affected by the weather. Network Rail says speed restrictions will be imposed on some routes to try to reduce the risks from trees and other debris that may fall onto the tracks. Because of the expected disruption, many train operators have advised customers with tickets for Monday afternoon to travel earlier. Passengers are advised to check the National Rail Enquiries website or speak to their train company.

STANDARD 0537

A yellow warning indicates severe weather is possible and people should "be aware", while amber indicates "be prepared", as the weather is worsening. The Met Office has a guide on what the colours mean.

STANDARD 0538

Arriva Trains Wales advises passengers to check their journeys before travelling by visiting its website for up to date service information.

STANDARD 0538

BBC weather forecaster Nick Miller says the weather will disrupt the Christmas getaway, because of a rapidly deepening area of low pressure which will push more stormy weather across the UK. Elements include heavy rain and severe gales, some snow especially across parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and disruption is likely.

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