Thousands of Christmas commuters face further misery

Hundreds of thousands of Christmas commuters will face further misery. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hundreds of thousands of Christmas commuters will face further misery as their chances of getting home for the festive holiday are hampered by the effects of flooding.

Rail routes across the country will be under increasing pressure as people who were unable to travel yesterday will add to already heaving services as they attempt to reschedule their journeys.

Dozens of routes have been affected by heavy rain in recent days, and flooding has been so bad in the

South West that First Great Western is advising passengers with non-essential journeys not to travel on trains or replacement buses in the area at all, because of flooding and poor road conditions.

Dozens of residents in the South West face Christmas with floodwater in their homes, and communities across the country are on alert as hundreds of flood warnings remain in place.

In Umberleigh, near Barnstaple in Devon, a woman was swept away from her car in the early hours of today after flooding in the area.

Fire and Rescue services work to clear a section of the A399 in North Devon. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A police helicopter found the woman clinging to branches of a tree on the banks of the swollen River Taw, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Fire crews helped her to safety using a rigid inflatable, and she was treated for exposure to the water.

In the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales a woman was rescued from her car by passers-by after it was swept into a river in Llancarfan, the BBC said.

The woman was driving through the village when her black Mini ended up in the swollen waterway and began floating backwards with her trapped inside.

Two men smashed the car window using a ladder and pulled her to safety just moments before her car was washed under the bridge and filled with water.