Commuter chaos to follow the weekend whiteout: snow forecast to last until Thursday
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Sunday 20 January 2013
Britain’s big freeze is expected to continue until at least Thursday, with more snow forecast to blanket Britain.
Snow fell throughout the day in many parts of the country today, adding up to four centimetres in the west and north, and six centimetres in the East Midlands, East Anglia and the South East, including London.
Airlines serving Heathrow have been instructed to cull one in 10 flights on Monday in a bid to avoid the chaotic scenes at Europe’s busiest airport at the weekend. The cuts are not as severe as on today, however, when one in five was cancelled.
British Airways, which has encountered the most problems, apologised to passengers for the inconvenience caused. BA passengers booked to travel Monday and Tuesday night have been invited to rebook free of charge for flights between 24 January and 12 February.
Rail passengers endured another day of delayed and cancelled trains. Four Eurostar departures to and from London St Pancras were cancelled, and passengers faced long delays.
Virgin Trains started cancelling services on the West Coast Main Line from the outset. Others ran with delays and overcrowding, as passengers from cancelled trains squeezed on to those that ran.
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice for much of the country and advised people to take extra care as snow turns to ice in the sub-zero conditions. Motorists have also been warned to take extra care.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “The hidden danger is the sheet ice below the inch or two of fresh snow on ungritted local roads.
“If drivers can safely get off their local streets we advise them to stick to the main roads where grit and extra traffic has helped keep the ice away. Drivers need to be prepared because even on main roads the weather can change. Ensure you have coats, phones, spades and provisions with you.”
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