Chaos on roads and railways to continue today, warn forecasters


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Snow brought widespread disruption to much of Britain yesterday, with hundreds of flights cancelled, trains services delayed and motorists stuck in traffic jams.

Almost 6in fell overnight on Saturday, with the Met Office warning that "severe" weather conditions would continue into today. Forecasters warned that roads and pavements will continue to be hazardous, with thick fog patches. Eastern areas are expected to remain dry and cold for the rest of this week while western parts will be cloudier with a chance of snow.

Many drivers were forced to spend Saturday night in their cars as the snow brought traffic to a standstill on motorways. Some spent seven hours stationary on the M25 in Hertfordshire while temperatures dropped to almost -10C. Flurries first fell over Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands before moving to London and East Anglia.

Britain's biggest sea container terminal at Felixstowe port, Suffolk, was closed for a while; access to quayside areas was restricted and port officials said delays were likely.

The Highways Agency urged drivers to take extra care on the roads. "Drivers are advised to pay particular care at locations where local conditions such as slopes, bends or overhanging trees could create an increased risk of slippery road conditions. It is still necessary to drive with care even after road surfaces have been treated," a spokeswoman warned. The RAC said it had attended 70 per cent more breakdowns than normal. The AA said it dealt with 1,500 calls per hour on Saturday.

Rail services were also affected, with disruption set to continue and journey times extended. Restrictions were in place on the high-speed line for Eurostar trains from St Pancras yesterday, with services subject to delays. Operators advised passengers to check in as normal but check the website today.

Transport for London (TfL) said 2,000 tonnes of grit were spread on the capital's roads.