London commuters were left baffled after a rail company blamed delays on "strong sunlight" in the midst of cold and wintry weather this week.

"Apologies we are having issues dispatching trains due to the strong sunshine this morning," Southeastern railway company informed travellers through its Twitter account Tuesday, blaming the "low winter sun".

While delays due to snow or wet leaves on the tracks are familiar to commuters in Britain, many responded to this new reason with humour and disbelief.

"Train delayed due to sunlight!" wrote Twitter user Zuzanna Sojka, telling the train company: "I admire your creativity!"

User Paul Malyon called it "the weakest excuse ever" while others responded to ask whether trains might next be delayed due to "too many clouds" or "moonlight".

"How do they go on in hot countries where they have sunshine all the time?" asked Julie Clarke.

Britain experienced just a few hours of sunlight on Tuesday, and temperatures between -2.3 and 8.6 degrees Celsius (28 to 47.5 degrees Fahrenheit) according to the Met Office, but it was enough to delay trains in the southeast London district of Lewisham.

A spokesman for Southeastern explained that the glare from the low angle of the Sun "made it impossible for some drivers to see the full length of their train in their mirrors before leaving stations".

"When this happens they have to get out and check to ensure everybody has got on or off their train safely before they can move," the spokesman explained.

"This can take a little more time but thankfully for all it doesn't happen very often."

Bafflement as London train delay blamed on 'strong sunlight'