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UK weather - live updates: Snow and severe winds to hit Britain as Amsterdam Airport cancels all flights

Yellow 'be aware' warnings issued for wind as gusts reach over 80mph

Met Office forecast: Thursday 18 January

Drivers have been warned to only travel if necessary as severe gales and snow showers bring travel disruption to much of the UK.

Almost all rush-hour trains to London Waterloo, Britain's busiest station, were either cancelled or delayed, and many rail lines across the country were blocked by fallen trees and debris.

A yellow warning for snow and ice has been issued for northern England, Northern Ireland and parts of southern and central Scotland.

Follow the latest updates on the severe weather and travel disruption below

Poor weather conditions are also affecting railways in the Midlands, with overhead electric wires damaged between Wolverhampton and Stafford.

Passengers are being warned to expect delays to and from Manchester Piccadilly, between Birmingham New Street and Crewe, through Birmingham New Street and between Birmingham New Street and Redditch.

On Wednesday, persistent snow and ice caused treacherous driving conditions and brought the M74 in Scotland to a standstill, but Traffic Scotland said there were no significant incidents on the roads for rush hour traffic and traffic on the M74 was "coping well".

During the night, Police Scotland issued a "stage four" warning, advising drivers to avoid travelling on roads in areas covered by amber snow warnings.

This was later downgraded to stage three to warn motorists of a "high risk of disruption" during the morning.

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Welcome to The Independent's live updates as strong winds and show showers cause travel disruption as they hit the UK.

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National Rail are reporting widespread weather-related delays, including disruption caused by a train hitting a tree near Lower Sydenham in south-east London, and another service colliding with a fence on the line near Sheerness-on-Sea in Kent.

A tree also fell onto the line in the Deal area of Kent, while a freight train struck two sheds that had blown on to the railway between Newtown and Welshpool in Wales.

In a series of tweets outlining the problems, National Rail said level crossing barriers between Chester and Wrexham had been damaged by high winds, with replacement road transport running between Chester and Shrewsbury.

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Police are urging motorists to drive with "extreme caution" amid wintry conditions in Scotland.

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Thankfully no one was injured when the roof was blown off a house in the Stoke Heath area of Coventry last night.

Pictures posted on Twitter by West Midlands Fire Service crews showed debris on the ground after winds blew the brick gable off the top of the three-storey property.

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Poor weather conditions have also delayed journeys to and from London's King's Cross station after an object was caught in the overhead electric wires between Peterborough and Stevenage.

Meanwhile, damage to overhead power cables blocked lines between Colchester and Ipswich, and Birmingham and Redditch.

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There is also widespread disruption across the South Western Railway network after a number of trees blocked lines.

Passengers were warned of delays and cancellations across routes in areas including Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Guildford and London Waterloo.

The problem also damaged signalling equipment at Milford, Surrey, blocking lines, and power supply equipment at Hinchley Wood.

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High wind conditions make for nightmarish rush-our for commuters across Britain, Simon Calder, our travel correspondent, reports. 

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Derbyshire Police says it has received a large amount of calls about fallen trees blocking roads.

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