THE Central Belt was hit by torrential rain last night, causing flash floods across the region and bringing traffic chaos to transport routes.
Localised flooding, caused by slow-moving showers, which were accompanied by thunder and lightning, brought rush-hour traffic to a halt as torrents of water rendered roads and rail tracks impassable.
In Glasgow, Queen Street Station was closed due to the flooding, leaving passengers travelling to the city stranded on trains while Network Rail engineers worked to clear the water.
Meanwhile, at the city’s Central Station, flooding on the low-level line resulted in services to Rutherglen being cancelled.
In Edinburgh, flooding in tunnels near Haymarket station caused 50-minute delays for services.
The capital’s road network also suffered, with Lothian Buses reporting that gridlocked traffic was causing serious delays, while surface water on the A71 between Hermiston and Wilkieston brought traffic to a crawl.
Lothian and Borders Police warned that flooding on the city bypass was causing “severe delays, particularly in the west and south-west”.
At Abbeyhill, the road under the railway bridge just beside the Palace of Holyroodhouse was rendered virtually impassible by standing water almost a foot and a half deep, forcing cars to edge their way through it.
Traffic on the M8 was hit badly, with east-bound vehicles still suffering severe delays hours after the worst of the rain had cleared.
Travellers hoping to catch planes from Edinburgh Airport were advised to leave extra travel time due to flooding on the airport road, while the A90, linking Cramond Brig to the Forth Road Bridge, was also affected.
In Glasgow, Great Western Road, the main artery heading west out of the city, was flooded, while the M74 between Polmadie and Cambuslang Road was badly affected. On the A8, flash flooding near the Showcase Leisure Park in Coatbridge caused traffic to slow in both directions, and there were also reports of flooding on Sarason Street and Switchback Road.
George Square’s Jubilee concert was abandoned due to the weather.
As the deluge continued, Twitter was inundated with reports of flooded roads and cars stalling as they drove through deep water.
Even where the roads were passable, the wet conditions posed a risk for drivers.
Commuter, Kerry Dean, who lives in Broxburn. West Lothian, tweeted: “Nearly got drowned tonight on way home. My wee fiat 500 not only had to cope with flooding but splash back from the opposite carriage.”
One Glasgow business posted on Facebook: “Flash flooding in Glasgow, my clients can’t make it tonight to pick up their order, hailstones in July and no broadband now due to this bizarre summer weather, I think mother nature has gone a little mad.”
Lothian and Borders Police said, however, that while the rain had caused problems in some areas, it had subsided quickly and within an hour traffic was running close to normal again.
Strathclyde fire brigade said it took “dozens” of calls from householders and business owners concerned about flooding.
The Met Office issued an amber warning across much of central Scotland, including Fife, the Lothians and Borders, telling the public to be aware of heavy downpours and flooding.