Travel chaos paralyses London

HUNDREDS of thousands of commuters were attempting to get home from London last night after a day of travel chaos caused by the terrorist outrages in the capital.

Although nearly all main line London rail stations were open by late afternoon, the Tube still remained shut late last evening while bus services in the heart of the capital were only slowly returning to normal.

Passengers who had to walk long distances to get to work after the morning explosions faced further footslogging last night.

And commuters were warned that the Tube might not be totally back to normal even today.

During the worst of the travel chaos, there was no Underground services and nearly all the London main line rail stations were shut.

In addition, there were no bus services in the centre of London. Although the Channel Tunnel high-speed Eurostar trains were able to run in and out of Waterloo station, the Gatwick Express as well as the Stansted Express and Heathrow Express services were all suspended for a time.

Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports carried on as normal, but thousands of passengers had great difficulty making their flights.

Many companies, especially those with offices close to the terrorism sites, evacuated their buildings and told staff to go home.

The Salvation Army opened three of its churches and said commuters unable to get home last night could sleep there.

At the height of the chaos, train companies, Network Rail, Transport for London and motoring organisations warned people not to travel into London.

There were signs on main road routes telling drivers not to attempt journeys into the capital.

A number of roads were shut in central London.

Stores in the normally bustling West End had few customers and many closed early. Security staff at Debenham’s flagship store in Oxford Street searched the bags of customers.

Hotels across the capital were busy with commuters checking in for the night rather than facing difficult journeys home.

On the M4 air travellers heading for Heathrow were seen to abandon taxis and hotfoot to the airport along the hard shoulder, dragging their suitcases behind them.

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