Freezing weather causes travel misery in England

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Media captionTravellers face more misery as airports, roads and rail continue to be badly hit

Snow showers across England have eased off, but disruption for travellers continues as temperatures struggle to get above freezing.

Motorists in areas most affected by snow are being advised to only travel if necessary and there are delays on many train services.

Gatwick has reopened but flights are limited and other airports are experiencing delays and cancellations.

Temperatures dropped to as low as -19C in North Yorkshire on Friday morning.

The Met Office has issued warnings of icy roads for most parts of England, with heavy snow predicted for the North West.

Met Office forecaster Gavin Robbins said the snow showers should ease off across most areas during the remainder of Friday, but temperatures would struggle to get above freezing.

The highest temperature would be 3C - in Cornwall - according to the Met Office.

Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, recorded -19C early on Friday while temperatures dropped to -10C in parts of Manchester and Yeovil, Somerset.

Forecasters said about 15in (38cm) of snow had fallen overnight in Redesdale, Northumberland, while another 10in (25cm) fell in Charlwood, West Sussex.

At Brough in East Yorkshire, nine inches (23cm) of snow fell overnight.

Image caption There was disruption to many train services

Mr Robbins said: "Today will be bitterly cold across the UK with temperatures struggling to get above freezing almost everywhere."

Friday's disruption includes:

  • Severe disruption to London Overground, East Coast, East Midlands, First Hull and South West
  • First Capital Connect services are not running between London St Pancras, Sutton and Brighton
  • Reduced services for Southern, Southeastern and South West Trains
  • Eurostar is operating a reduced service with delays of up to 90 minutes and there are no Gatwick Express trains. Southern trains are stopping at Gatwick but are limited.
  • No trains are running between Cleethorpes and Doncaster, Lincoln and Grimsby and between Lincoln and Doncaster. The line from Bridlington to Scarborough is still blocked
  • Flights suspended at Humberside Airport and Durham Tees Valley Airport is closed
  • Bournemouth Airport reopened at 1400 GMT but there are no flights until Saturday
  • Southampton Airport reopened at 1300 GMT after being closed earlier
  • Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster will be closed until Sunday
  • Disruption at London City Airport and Heathrow Airport
  • Police forces in Kent and Surrey advise drivers to travel only if necessary
  • More than 2,000 schools are closed in England

A statement on Gatwick Airport's website said: "Our advice to passengers remains do not travel to the airport without first checking with your airline to make sure that your flight is departing today.

Image caption Many motorists are being urged to keep off the roads

"Passengers should expect delays and cancellations and it is likely to take a few days before flight schedules return to normal."

The airport was closed for two days as heavy snow caused problems on the runway.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has announced a review into this week's travel chaos.

He has written to the train companies to remind them of their responsibilities and said travel problems were not caused by a lack of grit.

"We have massive supplies of salt, there is no shortage of salt," he said.

"No local authority has contacted us and asked us for access to the strategic stockpile, and if they do, we have supplies ready to make available to them."

In the Commons on Thursday, Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle accused him of "complacency".

Mr Hammond said he was doing everything he could to keep Britain moving.

In Cumbria, investigations are under way after two elderly people died in their gardens in freezing weather.

An 80-year-old woman was found dead in her back garden in Workington on Wednesday and a man was found in his garden in Kirkby Stephen on Tuesday.

In North Yorkshire, a man who went to the aid of a driver whose car had crashed has died after being hit by another vehicle.

Police said a Land Rover Freelander skidded on ice on the A6108 at Bellerby, North Yorkshire, and came off the road, hitting the 57-year-old man.

The man had driven his Land Rover Defender down a bank to go to help a Vauxhall Corsa driver who had crashed.

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