Heavy rain causes travel disruption across UK with several warnings in place
The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for floods and thunderstorms across England, Scotland and Wales.
Heavy rain has caused disruption across the country, with rail users worst hit.
Yellow weather warnings are in place across the UK until Thursday as torrential rain continues across parts of England, Scotland and Wales.
Flood alert and thunderstorm warnings were also issued for some areas.
Virgin Trains advised customers not to travel between Scotland and England because of a fallen tree on the West Coast line, with disruption also causing delays or cancellations on the East Coast route.
Engineers are at the scene in Floriston, Cumbria, attempting to repair the damage between Carlisle and Lockerbie.
A spokesman for the firm said: “The closure of our route to Scotland is causing significant disruption and we want to apologise to all our customers affected by this.
“We’re doing our best to help people complete their journeys but would advise anyone who has not set off on their journey to either wait until the disruption has cleared, travel tomorrow or get a refund.”
Virgin services between Llandudno Junction and Crewe and Chester were also affected with people in Wales advised not to travel unless it was essential.
Transport for Wales tweeted: “Continued heavy rain during today means that travel to and from your desired destination cannot be guaranteed.”
National Rail reported that heavy rain and flooding was affecting services in the North West and trains could be cancelled or delayed as a result up until 1pm.
Routes affected include the Merseyrail service between Hamilton Square and Ellesmere Port and Chester, as well as Transport for Wales services between Aberystwyth, Chester, Crewe and Shrewsbury.
The Environment Agency issued 44 flood alerts for England, advising flooding was possible, and five flood warnings, which mean flooding is expected and immediate action is needed.
Showers and thunderstorms have affected southern and eastern parts of England this week, with a persistent band of rain edging north and west as the week has continued.
The Met Office also warned there was a small chance homes and businesses could be flooded and the weather could lead to difficult driving conditions and road closures.
Meteorologist Bonnie Diamond said parts of the country could see 0.8in-1.6in (20mm-40mm) of rain on Wednesday, with 2in-3.2in (50mm-80mm) falling on higher ground.
She said the heaviest rainfall was expected to be in the Teesside area, much of it overnight, with the weather warning extending into Thursday.
She said: “Anywhere within the warning area there is a risk that, with persistent rainfall, there could be a localised impact in terms of flooding.
“Tomorrow unfortunately is another wet day.”
Weather warnings for rain in eastern England and Wales on Thursday afternoon are expected to be issued.
Going into the weekend, the wind direction is expected to change, meaning less heavy and persistent rain, although the weather will still be unsettled with some showers expected, Ms Diamond said.
Elsewhere in Scotland, an outdoor Rod Stewart concert in Aberdeen was cancelled “due to adverse weather conditions”.
A statement from the AECC venue said: “Due to the high winds and bad weather it would not be safe to go ahead with this evening’s concert.”