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Commuters hit by floods chaos in race to cast EU referendum votes

Published 23/06/2016

Commuters hit by polling day travel chaos caused by flooding and torrential rain were caught in a race to cast their EU referendum votes.

One Twitter user, Daniel, aired his disappointment at train operator Thameslink, writing: "@TLRailUK thanks I won't be voting today... Stuck on the train #Thameslink."

As time ran out for those hoping to make it to their local polling station, travellers became increasingly anxious the delays would affect people's ability to cast their votes.

Alan Buxton said on Twitter: "Stuck on met line. Looking touch and go if I'll make it in time to vote."

Neil Matthews said: "Looks like weather-related train delays will prevent my wife from voting. Cross."

Some demanded that voting booths should remain open, with Charlie Joe suggesting on Twitter: "Voting should be extended for all the Londoners held up in ridiculous train delays today who will miss their chance to vote."

Another user, H V Espanioli DC said: "A voting area must be opened for those on the train platforms unable to get to the polls by 10pm."

But the Electoral Commission confirmed there is "no provision" in law to keep polling stations open later.

Conservative MP Greg Clark tweeted: "Terrible disruption still on @Se_Railway but if you're in the queue at your polling station at 10 o'clock tonight you can still vote #Remain."

Others who struggled to get home from work arrived just in time to cast their votes.

Nazlin Bhimani said on Twitter: "Just made it to the polling station closes. Travel chaos in West London on @MetLine means a lot of people will not have been able to vote."

Tyler said on Twitter: "Pleaded with presiding officer for ten extra minutes on account of relative stuck on a southern rail train. Sadly no vote. #euref #flooding."

Delyth Louise said on Twitter: "@TLRailUK 3 hrs to get home...triple the normal time and I've missed my chance to vote in the biggest day in British history in my lifetime."

A spokesman for Network Rail said that it had deployed 1,200 engineers to deal with the severe weather but advised commuters to check routes before travelling on Friday morning.

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