'Do not travel': Torrential rain brings mass disruption to northern England

Parts of northern England, including Sheffield and Rotherham, have been battered by torrential rain all day with flood warnings in place and several roads closed.

Motorists have been warned to avoid flooded roads as a deluge hit South and West Yorkshire, causing some routes to be impassable and train services to be cancelled.

The Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which was also flooded in 2007, said its Christmas Live event, has been been cancelled.

In a statement it said: "Due to the adverse weather and the subsequent impact on the public transport it is with regret that the Christmas Live event has been cancelled."

Flood water around the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, Sheffield. Credit: ITV News

South Yorkshire Police later advised people in the shopping centre not to leave after the flooding left the area gridlocked.

The force's operational support unit said on Twitter: "If you are travelling to collect people, do not attempt your journey. Await updates as we work to ensure safety of people in the immediate vicinity."

The force said it had closed the nearby junction 34 of the M1 in both directions to "alleviate pressure".

In a later statement, Meadowhall said: "Whilst the road networks have been severely affected by the floods, our centre remains dry and secure.

"The majority of customers left the building before the centre officially closed at 22.00 hours but there are a small number of people who have chosen to stay with us for the time being.

"We will continue to look after them until they can return home safely."

Rail firm Northern issued "do not travel" advice for passengers using three routes, saying flooding had closed the lines between Sheffield and Gainsborough, Sheffield and Lincoln and Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria.

The firm said that roads are also closed in the corresponding areas, meaning "customers should not attempt to travel".

Residents have been evacuated from 35 homes in Mansfield following a mudslide caused by heavy rain, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Roads have been closed in Sheffield due to the torrential rain. Credit: PA

The force was called to Bank End Close alongside the fire service and Mansfield District Council just before 5pm following concerns for the safety of people living in the houses.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for heavy rain until 6am on Friday for an area between Sheffield, Manchester and Bradford.

A severe flood warning has been issued by the Environment Agency (EA) for the River Calder at Brearley and Luddenden Foot in West Yorkshire.

It is the first severe warning for the rainstorm that has swept across the Pennines and Yorkshire over the last 24 hours. It warns of "severe flooding - danger to life".

It has also issued yellow warnings for surrounding regions as it said almost 40mm of rain had fallen in the Sheffield area between midnight and noon on Thursday.

Forecaster Craig Snell said it could be that the total rainfall hits 100mm by Friday morning.

A car passing through a flooded road in Whirlow, Sheffield, after torrential rain in the area. Credit: PA

By teatime on Thursday, the Environment Agency has issued 61 flood warnings, mainly in the Yorkshire region, and 103 flood alerts.

Chris Wilding, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: "Heavy rain could lead to surface water and river flooding across parts of northern England today and into tomorrow, particularly in parts of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, and Derbyshire and Lincolnshire."

He adds: "We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car."