Snow and ice cause travel disruption around UK
Snow and ice are continuing to cause widespread travel disruption across the UK. The coldest night of the year so far caused heavy snow to fall in Scotland and south-east and eastern England, with delays hitting road, rail and air travel.
Schools from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands were forced to close. The Met Office has issued fresh snow and ice warnings covering large parts of the UK on Tuesday morning.
Scotland is on course to record its coldest December in over a decade after temperatures plummeted to -15.7C in Aberdeenshire.Elsewhere a low of -8.8C (16.1F) was recorded at Sennybridge in Wales, -8.7C (16.3F) in Katesbridge, Northern Ireland, and -9.7C (14.5F) in Levens Hall, Cumbria. Unofficial observations say 15cm (5.9 inches) of snow fell near Stansted Airport.
A snow and ice warning is in place for northern Scotland and north-east England from midnight Tuesday until noon on Thursday, while an ice warning covers south-east England from 09:00 to 11:00 on Tuesday.
More than 140 flights due to serve UK airports have been cancelled because of ice and snow – with Stansted, Gatwick, Luton and London City among the worst impacted. Flights from other airports – including Belfast and Aberdeen – were also cancelled due to poor weather at other airports.
Londoners have also been facing severe difficulties getting around on Monday, with most Tube lines experiencing delays or part closure. There have been delays on several London Underground lines – as well as the London Overground – including the Central, District, Northern and Piccadilly lines, according to Transport for London (TfL).
Railway lines – particularly in the south-east and east of England – continue to be disrupted, with services being cancelled. The cold weather prompted Southeastern Railway to advise passengers not to travel after cancelling the first early morning trains on all routes to allow safety checks.
Driving conditions across the UK remain difficult. The AA said that although the snow has created a “beautiful winter wonderland”, it has also created a nightmare scenario for motorists. Some caught up in chaos last night on the M25 and M11 reported being stuck in their cars for more than eight hours overnight.
Drivers in Burwash, East Sussex, decided to abandon their cars altogether and took refuge in a pub after snow made roads impassable and dangerous. About 40 people took shelter in the Bear Inn, which opened its doors to those stranded, providing hot drinks, log fires, and mattresses for children.
Warnings remained in place on the M25, with drivers advised to take care when travelling due to snow and ice. However, a section earlier closed between junctions 23 and 25 has now reopened, warnings are still in place. Traffic Scotland, the Scottish motorways body, reported ice affecting driving conditions in several regions.
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