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Travellers face further transport disruption this weekend

The Met Office has warned of heavy rain following the midweek heatwave.

Commuters at St Pancras railway station (Thomas Hornall/PA)
Commuters at St Pancras railway station (Thomas Hornall/PA)

Travellers are set to face delays over the weekend due to the weather, repair work and a rail strike.

East Midlands Trains (EMT) customers have been warned to expect a significantly reduced service to and from London due to repair work on damaged overhead line equipment and a revised timetable on several local routes because of RMT industrial action.

Customers have also been told to check before heading out on their journeys and not to travel on the London St Pancras-Nottingham-Sheffield route as there will be a reduced timetable.

A spokesman said that the ongoing disruption to services on the Midland Main Line route to London will continue over the weekend while engineers repair major damage to overhead line equipment near West Hampstead.

Jake Kelly, East Midlands Trains managing director, said: “We’re sorry to everybody who has experienced disrupted journeys over the past two days.

“We are working very closely with Network Rail while they work to repair the overhead line equipment and fully reopen the railway, which will in turn allow us to reintroduce our full train service to and from London St Pancras.

“Whilst this work takes place, we do have a significantly reduced timetable in place on our London route over the weekend and our advice for customers is to avoid travelling on this route wherever possible and make alternative arrangements.

“Due to the RMT industrial action, there will also be some changes to services on our local routes on Saturday, with revised timetables and replacement coach operations in place on some lines.”

After a week in which Britain has been hit by hot temperatures and thunderstorms, heavy rainfall could now bring flooding and travel disruption.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain which covers vast swathes of Scotland and England, with the exception of the South West region, until Sunday afternoon.

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People rest in Terminal 5 at Heathrow (Steve Parsons/PA)

Up to 20mm of rain fell in parts of London and the south-east of England overnight on Friday into Saturday, with forecasters expecting up to another 20mm during the morning, which could lead to travel problems.

Delays or cancellations to train and bus services are possible.

It comes after air passengers suffered major disruption on Friday due to the heatwave and a technical problem with the UK’s air traffic control system.

Passengers using Heathrow and Gatwick airports had to contend with delays due to the extreme conditions across Europe.

The air traffic control company Nats said a technical problem with a system at the Swanwick Air Traffic Control centre had been identified shortly after noon, which restricted the rate of arrivals.

A Heathrow spokesman said the technical issue has now been resolved, adding: “We apologise to passengers for any disruption that this caused.”

On Saturday morning, Gatwick Airport said: “We aim to run a normal schedule today, however due to ongoing adverse weather across Europe, passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information.”

PA

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