Travel plans disrupted by soggy start to the great Christmas getaway
The great Christmas getaway got off to a soggy start as rain and disruption hampered festive travel plans.
Flood warnings have been issued for large parts of the region as road and rail travellers faced delays to their journeys.
Rail passengers are still facing hold-ups caused by signalling problems in London and there were delays to a number of services running through Bath Spa Station this morning with the 7.43 to London Paddington cancelled.
The Environment Agency has issued more than 100 flood warnings and alerts for the South West of England as heavy rain continued to fall.
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Families have been warned that flooding is possible in a number of areas in and around Bath.
Flood alerts have been issued for the River Biss between Westbury and Trowbridge.
Householders living near the River Chew from Chew Stoke to Keynsham have also been alerted to the possibility of flooding.
A further flood alert has bee issued for the River Avon around Melksham, Bradford on Avon and Chippenham.
An accident closed one lane of the M5 southbound near Weston-super-Mare this morning and a one lane of the northbound carriageway was also shut between Burnham-on-Sea and Weston by a vehicle fire.
Flooding between Taunton and Exeter St Davids and a signalling problem is causing disruption to train passengers in the South West.
There are no trains between Plymouth and Tiverton Parkway or Taunton.
Met Office chief forecaster Steve Willington said: "We could see rainfall mounting up to more than 100 mm in parts of South West England by the end of the weekend.
"The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings which means that the public should plan ahead to take account of possible travel delays or disruption, especially as they make their way to friends and family for the Christmas period."
John Curtin, head of incident management at the Environment Agency, said: "Our teams are out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding, clearing drainage channels and ensuring that flood defences are working properly.
"With a very busy travel weekend coming up, we would also ask that people check their route before travelling, and remember not to drive or walk through flood water."
Darron Burness, the AA's head of special operations, said: "Even if you know your local roads, don't be complacent, as flash flooding is a real risk with so much water around."
For the latest information on flood warnings and alerts in the region, click on the Environment Agency panel below.