THE Thames Barrier will close again this afternoon (Jan 3) in response to heavy rains across the area.

A closure will take place at midday and the barrier is expected to remain closed for four hours, the Environment Agency says.

The barrier was also closed yesterday in response to the incoming rains and high winds.

Many major roads were flooded, while trains to and from Gatwick Airport in West Sussex were among those affected by storm-related problems.

Southern and south west England, Wales and Scotland bore the brunt of the adverse weather, while travellers whose services were running normally had to contend with wind and rain on the way to work.

Electrical supply problems at South Croydon in south London meant delays of up to 40 minutes on trains between Gatwick Airport and East Croydon, while a signalling problem at Dorking in Surrey led to hold-ups between Dorking and Leatherhead.