England snow: 'Blizzard' warning for motorists

Gritters near Birdlip in Gloucestershire Drivers have been warned of blizzard conditions and poor visibility

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Drivers have been warned of the possibility of blizzard conditions in parts of south-west England where wind and further snowfall is predicted.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for parts of the South West and Wales for snow.

Elsewhere, ice continued to be a hazard for drivers and the Highways Agency urged people to delay journeys if the weather became severe.

The BBC weather centre said 10cm (4in) of snow was possible on higher ground.

Weather presenter Susan Powell said: "With quite a breeze, that could mean blizzard conditions for a time, poor visibility and some very difficult travelling conditions."

The A38(M) Aston Expressway in Birmingham was closed in both directions on Tuesday morning, between Dartmouth Circus and the M6, because of ice.

Met Office: Severe Weather Warnings

  • Red - take action
  • Amber - be prepared
  • Yellow - be aware
  • Green - no severe weather

The Parkway in Plymouth has been closed throughout the day following a serious multi-car crash which left one man critically ill.

The man was taken to hospital after several vehicles spun off the A38 between the Manadon and Marsh Mills junctions of the Exeter-bound carriageway shortly before 06:00 GMT.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: "Officers at the scene believe that the freezing road conditions may be a contributory factor and are warning motorists to slow down when using any of the roads in the area."

A plane being de-iced at Heathrow About 40 flights were cancelled at Heathrow where more than 200 were cancelled on Monday

Further collisions on the approach to the crash scene also added to the congestion, the spokesman added.

Conditions remain hazardous on the A1 in Northumberland between Morpeth and Gosforth because of snow. Motorists have also been urged to take extra care on the A19 in Sunderland.

The A57 Snake Pass in Derbyshire has reopened after being closed earlier.

Snow and ice caused disruption to East Coast rail services. Delays of up to 40 minutes were reported to services between London Kings Cross and Berwick-upon-Tweed on Tuesday afternoon.

Eurostar warned passengers to expect delays of up to an hour because of speed restrictions imposed as a result of snow and ice. The company said it would cancel some services to Paris and Brussels on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday.

Start Quote

By noon today we had handled as many breakdowns as we would by 5pm on a normal winter's Tuesday”

End Quote Simon Williams RAC

Other rail operators including Gatwick Express, Southern and Southeastern also reported cancellations and revised timetables. National Rail said all UK train companies were expected to run a full service on Wednesday.

Cambridge was the coldest place in the UK on Monday night, with temperatures dipping to -12.2C, according to Met Office figures.

About 40 flights were cancelled at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday. There were more than 200 cancellations the previous day.

Other airports were reporting near-normal services following a day of cancellations and delays on Monday, although passengers were advised to check with operators before travelling.

'Gaping hole'

Hundreds of schools remained closed on Tuesday, including more than 100 in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Staffordshire.

In Birmingham, a boy, thought to be 15 years old, had to be rescued after falling through ice in Sutton Park.

In Middlesbrough, a teenager remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital after being injured while sledging.

Pricetown on Dartmoor Hundreds of schools across England were closed as further snow was forecast

Parishioners are assessing the damage to a church in Cornwall which was hit by lightning. Pillaton Church was struck during a "tremendous thunderstorm" at about 23:30 GMT on Monday.

Bell ringing captain Richard Warwick said: "One of the four pinnacles on the roof, which weigh several tonnes, has exploded and the main part of it has made a huge gaping hole in the body of the main church."

The RAC said it expected an extra 2,500 breakdowns by the end of Tuesday, a 30% increase to around 11,000 from its usual 8,500.

Spokesman Simon Williams said: "Between 10am and 11am on Monday we dealt with 21 breakdowns a minute or one every three seconds, leading to our busiest day for five years.

"By noon today we had handled as many breakdowns as we would by 5pm on a normal winter's Tuesday as motorists struggled with the conditions.

"We expect to carry on experiencing a high volume of calls for help well into the evening."

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