Video: Plane lands in high winds as gales batter Yorkshire

FIERCE wind and rain has battered Yorkshire, with road and rail travel disrupted, cars left submerged and houses evacuated.

A picture of Old Bank from the turn of the century

Several vehicles were said to have been left submerged and houses flooded following a flood at Old Bank, Ripponden.

Firefighters from North Yorkshire were called to the scene shortly after midnight.

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A spokesman said water from an underground culvert had been responsible for the flood and several properties had been evacuated. Officers from the council and other agencies were also on the scene.

The road has a notoriously steep incline and formed part of the recent Tour de France Grand Depart.

Some flights were diverted from Leeds Bradford airport, while others struggled to land in strong winds,

Elsewhere, fallen trees blocked railway lines, and busy road-bridge routes had to be closed, including the Dartford Crossing QEII Bridge on the M25, the Ouse Bridge on the M62, and the M48 Severn Bridge.

The high winds led to trains running at reduced speed in north west England, with delays of up to an hour in the Warrington Bank Quay/Oxenholme Lake District area and in the Carnforth area.

A tree on the line led to delays between Exeter St Davids in Devon and Taunton in Somerset, while another fallen tree meant hold-ups between Salisbury in Wiltshire and Romsey in Hampshire.

A tree on the line also caused delays to trains between Aylesbury and London.

In East Anglia, overhead wire problems between Diss and Stowmarket were causing delays of up to an hour to services between Norwich and Ipswich.

To add to commuters’ problems, a signalling problem led to delays to trains between Brighton and Haywards Heath in Sussex.

There were long delays on the M5 southbound near Worcester due to an accident.

On the River Thames in London, a promotional event for the new Thunderbirds TV show was cancelled.

Met Office forecaster Kirk Waite said: “While the winds should gradually ease, it’s going to stay a pretty windy day .

“The north west of the country is going to see some quite blustery showers moving in - it’s probably going to see the strongest winds today.”

While there may be a slight let-up, Mr Waite said the best that could be expected were “some sunny spells”.

Looking forward to Easter, Mr Waite said the weekend will be breezy to begin with but things should “gradually quieten down”.

The QEII Bridge was able to open later in the morning but there were long delays on the M25 in both directions.

There were also bad hold-ups on the M20 in Kent where the motorway was closed eastbound between junctions 2 and 4 west of Maidstone after a serious accident, which also led to the closure of a section of the M26.

On the railways, a signalling problem in west London caused delays to all services in and out of London’s Paddington station, while the stormy weather led to speed restrictions, overhead wire problems and hold-ups on the East Coast main line.

The Diss-Stowmarket overhead wire problems in East Anglia were expected to last all day.