In pictures: Chaos as Britain is hit by flash flooding after record rainfall

Heavy rain has caused chaos in parts of the north of the UK as flooding saw people rescued by emergency services after they were stranded, with others evacuated.

A major incident was declared late on Wednesday in Poynton, Cheshire, due to “severe flooding” and early on Thursday rail lines between Manchester Airport and Wilmslow had also been disrupted by the deluge.

Police have urged people not to ignore ‘road closed’ signs by driving or walking through water, warning that their car could become submerged or the road underneath could have collapsed.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said firefighters, emergency services personnel and staff from Highways England were helping those affected, with a rest centre established at Poynton Civic Hall.

Poynton Fire Station said its crews had attended more than 20 incidents, including rescuing at least 11 people from floodwater in the area during a four-hour period.

Police in nearby Wilmslow also said officers were “dealing with flooding” and had evacuated affected residents, with Oakenclough Children’s Centre open as a rest centre.

Things were set to look up on Thursday, with the Met Office forecasting a “much drier picture” across England.

Forecaster Luke Miall said only sporadic rain was likely in central and western Scotland and northern England, possibly as far south as Yorkshire.