EU Referendum Travel Chaos Brings London To A Standstill And Crowds Overwhelm Waterloo, Victoria And Oxford Circus Stations

Many are worried they may not make it home in time to vote.

23/06/2016 18:41 | Updated 23 June 2016

Severe delays caused by torrential rain has brought London to a standstill as commuters worry they may not get home in time to vote in the European Union Referendum.

Thousands of people are currently stranded at stations in the capital as services are slashed due to the erratic weather. 

Southern Railway trains running between Victoria and Brighton have been cancelled for the rest of the day and there is severe disruption on the Underground and railway networks.

Bank and Monument stations were both shut due to a fire alert, a Transport for London spokesman told the Huff Post UK.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed that those who are in line to vote at 10pm - when polls close - will still be able to do so.

Political pundits sometimes point to rain depressing turnout, putting off "soft" voters.

Add to this older voters historically being more likely to turn up at a polling station, and it would suggest the conditions would be an advantage to the Leave campaign.

However, the impact of the weather on voting is questioned - with academic John Curtice particularly scathing, pointing out that it takes a severe weather event like flooding or snow to have a real impact.

Following this evening's heavy downpour, there is one train driver who says he is determined to get commuters homes to vote tonight.

Thousands of people are waiting to board trains at Waterloo Station.

Commuters have been tweeting pictures showing chaos in the main waiting hall, with some reporting that the building is leaking.

Footage filmed at an entrance to Westminster Station showed water gushing down the stairwell.

Some of the entrances to the station were closed due to the rain.

Victoria station has reportedly been evacuated due to overcrowding caused by the floods.

Footage recorded on the platform shows heavy rainfall coming onto the platform.

Hundreds of people are also queuing outside an entrance to Cannon Street Station.

Warnings were placed outside Oxford Circus telling people not to enter, with lines of people holding umbrellas photographed waiting to get in.

There is also severe disruption on Southern Railway services, with a number of journeys being cancelled, including the Victoria to Brighton service.

The network advised passengers to seek an alternative route home.

The following services on Southern Railway are affected:

- Services between Clapham Junction- Milton Keynes are suspended for the rest of the day

- Victoria to Brighton services are cancelled. Passengers are advised to take the Gatwick Express from Victoria and change at East Croydon, or take Southern servcies to Gatwick, East Croydon or Gatwick Airport and change there for services to Brighton.

- Gatwick Express services will call additionally at Clapham Junction and East Croydon but will only run between London and Gatwick with a half hourly frequency.

- We are aiming to run our mainline services. Those towards Ore, Eastbourne, Littlehampton, Portsmouth, Bognor Regis and Southampton.

- Our London/Metro service will be significantly reduced with particular impact on trains towards Sutton.

Earlier today, huge queues were reported at polling stations, with some being flooded in areas such Kingston and Worcester Park.

One voter said they had to be “carried in” as water swamped parts of London and the South East.

The fire brigade was inundated with more than 300 emergency calls.

The polls in the run-up to the big day have suggested the referendum result is on a knife-edge, with neither side able to surge ahead in the final weeks.

Both sides of the referendum campaign have been locked in fierce fighting for months, and things came to a frenetic close on Wednesday as senior politicians travelled across the country to try and sway undecided voters.

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