MILLIONS have faced a struggle to get home for Christmas as rail services and roads were hit by travel chaos.
As well as planned shutdowns, rail operators were force to cancel services because of sickness while motorists were hit by congestion.
Social media users said situation on some roads was "gridlock" as the motorists headed home.
Furious passengers have slammed Northern Rail as "bandits" as Brits racing home for Christmas were hit with travel chaos.
"Train I'm waiting for to Liverpool is severely delayed and all the rest are cancelled. Merry f *** ing Christmas," one wrote on Twitter.
The much-maligned operator ran a reduced service today after train drivers called in sick, adding extra pressure to roads on one of the busiest days of the year.
Rail users blasted "#Northernfail" on Twitter, with impacted services including Lancaster to Morecambe, Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield and Liverpool Lime Street to Wigan North Western.
Meanwhile London Paddington was eerily empty as major engineering work began on Great Western Railway.
The station will be closed from Tuesday until Saturday as Network Rail carries out track and overhead wiring improvements at Southall, plus Crossrail upgrades.
The Met Office has now lifted a severe weather warning in Wales and the South West, after thunderstorms threatened to delay car, rail and bus journeys.
There was a "good chance" driving conditions would be affected by spray, standing water and / or hail, the forecaster said.
Gusts of up to 60mph were also predicted before the stormy weather shifted east this lunchtime.
Weeks of flooding appear to have subsided, with a largely dry day expected over Christmas tomorrow.
But it's not all over yet, with 123 flood alerts and 47 warnings still in place across England and parts of Wales.
Motorists were warned of "treacherous" driving conditions due to last week's heavy rainfall, as millions of people embark on their festive getaway.
Parts of the M25 slowed to a halt today as drivers did their best to drive home by Christmas.
An RAC survey indicated that 3.1 million drivers will make a leisure trip by car today, as many people clock up the miles to be with family and friends in time for Christmas Day.
The busiest period is expected to be between 2pm and 6pm.
A recent AA poll suggested 74% of motorists would risk driving through flood water despite the risk of being swept away.
Environment Agency flood duty manager Carol Holt said: "While the weather outlook is improving, rivers continue to respond to recent rainfall, meaning that there is a continued risk of flooding in parts of southern and central England over the next few days."
Meanwhile, reduced services on train lines across the country were expected to kick in throughout the day.
As of 10am on Christmas Eve, there were 47 flood warnings and 123 flood alerts still in placeA total of 386 engineering projects are being carried out across Britain's rail network over the festive period.
London King's Cross, London Liverpool Street and Ashford International services will be among those suffering the worst disruption.
Passengers are advised to check journey details before they travel.