Bristol, M4 and Somerset travel news as heavy rain floods roads and train lines

The A370 in Backwell, North Somerset, was shut after a car became stranded in flood water.

Several roads are closed across the region following this morning's heavy rainfall.

The A370 in Backwell, North Somerset, was shut after a car became stranded in flood water.

Trains have also been suspended between Swindon and Chippenham, due to high water, blocking services to Bristol Temple Meads.

There are also delays of around 20 minutes on the M4 between Chippenham and Swindon after flooding in the area.

This morning, lane closures were in place due to the flooding and an accident.

9:20am update - Trains disrupted

Due to flooding between Swindon and Chippenham the line towards Bristol Temple Meads is blocked. Disruption is expected until 11:15am today, Friday 10 November. Train services between Swindon and Bristol Temple Meads via Chippenham and Bath Spa have been suspended. Great Western Railway is urging passengers to check their journey before travelling.

On the roads

Bus routes disrupted

11.30am update - Flooding on the A370 at Backwell has meant First Busses will not stop between Cambridge Batch and Trendlewood.

9:45am update - A370 reopens in Backwell

9:30am update - Roads closed in Somerset

The following roads have been closed with emergency gates due to flooding:

  • Muchelney to Langport

  • New Road

  • Cutts Road

A flooded road in Somerset. Credit: Travel Somerset

9:25am update - M4 Eastbound closed, queueing traffic due to flooding and multi-vehicle accident from junction 18 A46 for Bath and Tormarton to junction 17 A350, Chippenham.

A diversion route is in place. Heading eastbound, the route is as follows:

  • Exit the M4 eastbound at J18. 

  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and join the A46 towards Bath. 

  • At the A46/A420 roundabout, take the 1st exit and join the A420 towards Chippenham. 

  • At the A420/A350 roundabout, take the 1st exit and join the A350 towards the M4. 

  • At the A350/M4 roundabout, take the 3rd exit and rejoin the M4 at J17.

9:25am update - A368 both ways closed, slow traffic due to flooding from St Leonard Church turn-off (Chelwood) to Hunstrete turn-off (Hunstrete).

9:15am update - All traffic is being temporarily held and there is stationary traffic due to flooding on M4 Eastbound before junction 18 A46 for Bath and Tormarton. This has not helped by an multi-vehicle crash further along now on the hard shoulder, traffic is being stopped before the junction.  

9:05am update - Queueing traffic and road is impassable due to flooding on B4055 Henbury Road at Henbury Ford.

9:00am update - The A4 Westbound just passable due to flooding around A4174 (Hicks Gate Roundabout). A tanker is at the scene to clear up the flood water.

8:50am update - Queueing traffic and road is impassable on B3130 Tickenham Road in both directions at the M5 bridge. There is congestion on roads around the East Clevedon Triangle.

8:45am update - The A362 in both directions was just passable, with queueing traffic due to flooding between Tesco in Midsomer Norton and Main Street in Farrington Gurney.

8:00am update - The A370 Farleigh Road was closed due to flooding near Backwell Leisure Centre, causing congestion. There was queueing traffic due to flooding between Station Road and Fairfield School turn-off. Congestion to roads through Nailsea, and also smaller routes around Farleigh, Brockley and Wraxall.

Traffic is slow and heavier than normal on the M5 Southbound after Junction 9 for the A46 and Tewkesbury.

Cheddar cave flooded

As a result of the heavy rain overnight, one of the caves at Cheddar Gorge has been flooded.

Gough's Cave is closed to visitors today due to the high water levels.

Gough Cave is closed to visitors today due to the flooding. Credit: Cheddar Gorge

Flood warnings

There are two flood warnings and eight flood alerts in force across the region.

A "warning" means flooding is expected in that area, whereas an "alert" means flooding is possible. Avon Fire and Rescue Service has also warned drivers not to enter deep water in their vehicles.

In a post on social media, they wrote: "We've already been called out twice this morning to cars in floodwater. Our advice for floodwater on the road: if you see a flooded road ahead, turn around and find an alternative route."

A map showing flood warnings (red) and alerts (yellow) across the West Country. Credit: Environment Agency

People near Taunton and Dorchester have been urged to "act now" as high water levels have been forecast in their areas.

The Environment Agency has also issued advice for people living in areas prone to flooding, depending on the likelihood of high water. The advice is as follows:

Flood warnings - "act now"

Currently in force for Curry Moor and Hay Moor, Taunton, and the South Winterbourne Valley, Dorchester.

"A flood warning means you need to act: flooding is expected. You should do all the actions for a flood alert, but also:

  • move vehicles to higher ground if it’s safe to do so

  • move family and pets to safety

  • move important items upstairs or to a safe place in your property, starting with cherished items and valuables, then furniture and furnishings

  • turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it’s safe to do so; never touch an electrical switch if you’re standing in water

  • if you have property protection products such as flood barriers, or air brick covers, use them now

  • keep track of the latest flood risk situation."

Flood alerts - "be prepared"

Currently applied to the River Churn and its tributaries, River Thames at Calcutt and Lechlade, the upper Bristol Avon, the mid-Bristol Avon, West Somerset Streams, Lower Tone and Parett Moors, Rivers Yeo and Parett, River Yeo and Parett Moors at Mulcheney and Thorney, South East Somerset rivers.

"A flood alert means you need to prepare: flooding is possible. If you haven’t already done so, you should:

  • sign up for flood warnings

  • keep up to date with the latest flood risk situation

  • call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates

  • have a bag ready with vital items like insurance documents and medications in case you need to leave your home

  • check you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies

  • plan how you'll move family and pets to safety."

This is a live blog - updates to follow.