UK weather: Snow causing widespread travel disruption

  • Published
Media caption,

BBC's Nick Miller's latest forecast.

Severe snow has caused a second day of disruption across the UK with flights and trains cancelled and traffic grinding to a halt on major roads.

The worst hit areas were central Scotland - where a red alert for snow is in place - as well as Kent, East Anglia and the North East of England.

In London, a man died after being pulled from a frozen lake.

The freezing conditions are forecast to continue on Thursday with the arrival of Storm Emma.

The Met Office red warning - meaning there is a potential risk to life - will remain in place in Scotland until 10:00 GMT on Thursday. Hundreds of schools in the country will stay closed for a second day.

An amber warning for snow and ice covering other parts of Scotland, northern and eastern England will last until 18:00, with further delays and cancellations expected on public transport expected.

Heavy snow is also expected in south-west England and Wales from midday on Thursday to 08:00 on Friday.

Public Health England (PHE) has urged people to plan ahead to ensure they have enough food and medicine.

Rail passengers have been warned to avoid travelling to or from Scotland on Thursday while in Kent 50 stations will be closed.

Almost all operators have been affected by the conditions on Wednesday, with numerous cancellations and delays.

Several are planning to run amended timetables on Thursday with passengers being urged to check before they travel.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Police Scotland have advised drivers to avoid the M80

Traffic on the M80 between Glasgow and Stirling has been brought to a standstill for several hours, with emergency services dealing with a series of accidents.

Police Scotland have advised drivers to avoid the motorway and are advising stranded motorists to stay in their vehicles.

The force said supplies of water and fuel would be provided where there was an urgent need.

Other roads around the country saw major disruption on Wednesday, with several parts of the A1 closed at various times.

One crash in Nottinghamshire involved 16 vehicles, including five lorries, with one motorist saying he had been stuck on the road since 11:30.

Police have asked motorists to avoid travelling while the RAC said where driving is necessary, travel should be kept to the main roads.

Image source, Andrew Milligan/PA WIRE
Image caption,
Glasgow was one of the many areas to see major disruption on the roads

British Airways cancelled hundreds of short-haul flights from Heathrow, and London City Airport also cancelled many services.

Glasgow Airport closed while almost all flights from Edinburgh were stopped.

More than 2,624 schools in England and 1,600 in Scotland were closed, while schools in some areas of Wales will not reopen until Monday.

Other incidents included:

  • A boy in Basildon, Essex, was saved by firefighters after he got trapped in the middle of a frozen lake when the ice broke up
  • The Scottish Premiership postponed its games for Wednesday night and Doncaster Racecourse has cancelled its meeting on Friday
  • Police in Macclesfield said they arrested two suspected thieves after tracking their footprints through the snow
  • The army was called in to help emergency services in Lincolnshire
  • Hospitals in Glasgow, Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Goole cancelled all outpatient appointments while Harrogate hospital asked staff who can walk to work to go in to cover shifts
  • The Met Office's website struggled to cope as it received more than 10 times the normal number of visitors
  • Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre in Gillingham, Kent, was forced to close because of the heavy snow
Image source, Roger Harris
Image caption,
Children all over the country took to their sledges - including in Matfield, Kent
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The snow failed to deter swimmers in Penzance

The Met Office has predicted up to 10cm (4in) of snow for parts of Scotland and northern England by Thursday evening - although it could be as much as 40cm (15in) over hills, while 15cm (6in) is forecast for parts of eastern England and up to 20cm (8in) in the South, Wales and West Midlands.

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