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UK Weather Blighted As Summer Storms Return With A Bang (PICTURES)

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Sudden storms have hit the great summer holiday getaway with a lightning strike adding to other rail problems being faced by thousands of travellers.

Train services to and from London's Waterloo station were disrupted by a signalling problem at Waterloo and by a lightning strike between Surbiton and Woking west of the capital.

Trains between Waterloo and Dorking in Surrey were unable to run and there was disruption to other services in and out of Waterloo.

Today and tomorrow and the subsequent Saturdays in August are expected to the busiest days of the summer on the roads.

The first of an estimated two million Britons who are flying abroad over the weekend headed off today.

Spain is the number one destination for those hitting continental hotspots, according to travel organisation Abta.

Bookings to Greece and Turkey have also been going well, while for those travelling further afield Dubai, Mexico and Florida are among the most popular destinations.

The recent hot weather has also boosted the numbers taking last-minute trips in the UK, while short-haul favourites include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome and Paris.

In south-east England, around 450,000 passengers will be departing from Heathrow this weekend, 295,000 from Gatwick, 140,000 from Stansted and 79,000 from Luton.

More than 100,000 will be leaving from Scottish airports, with 50,000 from Glasgow alone, while 162,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 70,000 from Birmingham, 45,000 from Bristol and 37,000 from East Midlands airport.

Other regional airports, ports and the Channel Tunnel will also be extremely busy over the weekend with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the country.

A total of 67,000 holidaymakers will be heading off to Paris and the south of France on Channel Tunnel high-speed Eurostar trains over the weekend."

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