As it happenedended1519859986

UK weather - as it happened: Met Office issues red severe weather warning amid travel disruption as heavy snow hits Britain

Hundreds of schools closed as conditions set to worsen

Severe weather caused major travel disruption across the UK and Ireland on Wednesday as the “Beast from the East” tightened its grip.

Road closures, stranded vehicles and cancellations were widespread due to snow and ice.

Services on trains and planes were disrupted, with travellers urged to check with their transport provider before setting off on journeys.

Rail passengers were warned to avoid travelling to or from Scotland for all of Wednesday and into Thursday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of schools across Britain were closed for a second day.

Forecasters predicted the snow and freezing temperatures would not let up any time soon, prompting the Met Office to extend some of its weather warnings.

Rail companies warned delays may continue into Friday.

British Airways said the weather was likely to continue disrupting flights throughout the week.

From Thursday, forecasters predict that another weather system, Storm Emma, will bring blizzards, gales and sleet.

Follow along for live updates

The storm, named by the Portuguese Met Service, was expected to move north through Europe and was due to hit the UK on Thursday and Friday.

Additional reporting by agencies

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The snow has not dampened protests against proposed pension reforms for university staff.

Universities minister Sam Gyimah today said at least one university is "looking at direct compensation" for students disrupted by the ongoing strike action. 

Harriet Agerholm28 February 2018 05:20
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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live blog on the wintry weather disruption caused by the "Beast from the East".

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 07:58
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Severe weather overnight has caused major travel disruption, with more expected throughout the morning.

Amber and yellow snow and ice warnings are in place across vast swathes of the UK, with delays, road closures and stranded vehicles expected.

Trains and planes were also likely to be affected, with travellers urged to check the latest situation before setting off on their journeys.

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:00
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Several roads across the country have been left impassable following heavy snowfall overnight, forcing police to close large sections of major routes.

In Yorkshire, the A61 has been shut between Harrogate and Skipton due to the conditions, while further north, in Durham, the A66 was closed between the A1M and A685.

The A1 in Durham was also closed between Scotch Corner and Catterick after a lorry jack-knifed.

Highways England said the A1 in Cambridgeshire had to be shut due to severe weather, between the A1M and A6121 at Tinwell.

The closure caused long tailbacks overnight.

In Norfolk, police also reported roads being blocked due to lorries and cars becoming stuck in the snow, including the A11 southbound at Wymondham and the A143 at Haddiscoe.

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:11
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Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:17
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National Rail has warned of further disruption to services today.

TfL Rail, London Overground, c2c, Southeastern, Greater Anglia, Southern, South Western Railway and ScotRail all warned of the potential for cancellations or delays to services.

Passengers were advised to check with before travelling.

Great Northern was expecting to run a normal service, weather permitting.

Isle of Man Transport tweeted that all services were currently suspended.

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:27
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Some flights have been cancelled from Heathrow, including a number of British Airways services.

London City Airport also said there would be some disruption to services, while Newcastle Airport said there could be some delays while the runway was cleared of snow.

Gatwick Airport said overnight that flights were arriving and departing as usual, but recommended passengers check with their airline ahead of travelling.

East Midlands Airport said it was fully operational, but that it would be monitoring weather updates throughout the day.

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:44
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Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 08:56
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Heavy snow is causing disruption across Scotland, forcing hundreds of schools to close and causing difficult driving conditions.

Police are urging people not to travel in the amber weather warning area, which covers much of the country.

A lorry has come off the road on the A90 at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshuire and there have been several minor accidents elsewhere.

The weather also affected flights, with Glasgow Airport temporarily suspending operations to clear the runway early in the morning following heavy snowfall.

Pupils across the country are enjoying a "snow day" with all schools shut in the East Dunbartonshire Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, Scottish Borders Council, Stirling Council, and East Renfrewshire Council areas.

Glasgow City Council and Renfrewshire Council have closed all schools and nurseries for the day due to the weather, while West Lothian Council has also shut all schools.

In Aberdeenshire more than 120 schools are shut, while the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art (both its Glasgow and Highlands and Islands campuses) are also closed due to the weather.

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 09:07
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Scotland's Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, has warned amber alerts for snow and freezing winds from the early hours of this morning could be changed to red for extreme weather in certain areas.

A red weather warning means a high potential of "widespread damage", travel and power disruption and risk to life.

Met Office advice for such alerts is to "avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities".

Samuel Osborne28 February 2018 09:13

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