England

Severe weather: Southeastern trains to run at reduced speeds

Railway tracks Image copyright PA
Image caption Southeastern said trains would run at reduced speeds because of safety fears

Rail passengers are being warned to expect severe disruption as speed restrictions are put in place ahead of strong winds and heavy rain.

Southeastern said it had been advised to run its trains at reduced speeds from 23:00 GMT because of the risk of landslips, flooding and falling trees.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning - meaning "be aware" - for the South East for Wednesday.

Eleven flood warnings have also been issued for Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The Met Office said strong winds and heavy rain were predicted on Wednesday, with winds due to reach up to 70mph in the most exposed spots.

The Environment Agency warned people to expect flooding in the Canterbury and Minster areas of Kent, along the River Thames at Sunbury in Surrey and Pevensey, Seaford and Bosham in Sussex.

London-bound line closed

Michelle Ulyatt, of Southeastern, said: "We've seen the wettest January in a century and the forecast of more heavy rain on top of this brings a real risk of further landslips, flooding and falling trees. For safety reasons, Network Rail has advised us to run trains at a reduced speed.

"We'll work hard to provide the best possible service, but it is likely that journeys will be disrupted.

"Our customers should check before they travel and plan ahead to avoid potential delays. We'll be providing further advice later in the week as the forecast for Friday and the weekend becomes clearer."

High Speed services should be unaffected by the speed restrictions, according to the operator.

The main London-bound railway line was closed between Robertsbridge and Battle on Tuesday to allow engineers to carry out repairs following landslips at Crowhurst and Battle.

The Highways Agency has advising drivers of high-sided vehicles and motorbikes to take extra care to on the QEII Bridge at Dartford, A27 Shoreham flyover and Sheppey Crossing overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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