UK & World News
Snow: Ice Warning Amid Spate Of Accidents
Heavy snow caused travel misery for many Britons today - suspending flights, disrupting rail travel and sparking a series of road accidents.
Lengthy queues formed on Britain's roads with several accidents closing motorway lanes and major A roads.
There were three accidents on just one stretch of the M5 in Gloucestershire, while the M6 was also hit by an accident at junction 10 near Wolverhampton.
However, many commentators said that problems were not as bad as some had predicted, with many workers leaving their cars at home.
Drivers were tonight warned to be extra careful as freezing temperatures would bring icy conditions overnight and into the morning.
Bitterly cold temperatures look set to stay for the weekend.
Several airports were forced to ground flights or close following thick snow flurries and near gale-force winds of 30mph.
A spokesman for Heathrow - which shut both runways for periods during the day to clear snow - said 369 flights were cancelled.
Bristol and Birmingham airports closed for a time while Southampton stayed shut for most of the day.
Flights in and out of Gatwick escaped major disruption but the airport advised passengers flying out this weekend to contact their airlines to check flight status.
South Wales had to bear the brunt of the wintry weather first thing, with a rare "red warning" in place from the Met Office there and up to 30cm - a foot - of snow expected.
The deepest snowfall was measured at 26cm in Sennybridge, Wales, although snow has been thawing in other areas and some train services have been returning to normal.
At first the Home Counties were spared the early-morning flurries, with millions leaving home for work before snow showers spread eastwards.
More than 1,000 schools in Wales were among those shut for the day, with many sixth-form and college students having their A-level exams postponed and others having to trudge through the snow for exams that were going ahead.
Most of the UK saw temperatures hovering around zero - but these will plunge below freezing in many areas tonight.
Amber alerts are in place for the Midlands, London and the South, the east of England, the South West, the North West, parts of eastern Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In Wales, a power cut left 10,000 people without electricity. There were reports of panic-buying in South Wales, the West Country and the Home Counties as shops ran low on stock.
Merthyr Tydfil has been among the worst hit areas and the A4232 leading into Cardiff was packed with commuters who left home despite the conditions. The closure of a section of the M4 at Bridgend caused morning rush hour headaches for many.
There were severe hold-ups for rail passengers, with many companies cancelling services to help them cope with problems caused by the weather.
Eurostar axed four services between London and Brussels. Train firms are advising passengers to check with operators before travelling.
While commuters have been facing misery, the winter wonderland scenes have brought joy to thousands of youngsters who got the day off.
Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire were particularly badly hit, with almost 700 schools deciding to close across the four counties by the early afternoon.
In the Scottish Cairngorms a mountain rescue operation was launched for a missing walker who became separated from her party in bad weather. She was later found safe and well.
Few parts of the UK will escape the wintry weather as it continues into the weekend.
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There is up to 10cm of snow likely in northern and eastern England as well as Ireland and southern and eastern Scotland on Saturday. Snow elsewhere will be lighter but it will be bitterly cold.
Sunday could also bring persistent but light snow to southeast England and some flurries for Scotland.
Darron Burness, from the AA, said commuting in the wintry conditions was "likely to test man and machine".
Those who decide to travel have been urged to travel prepared with a fully charged mobile phone, warm waterproof clothes, boots and a blanket, some food and drink, and have a torch, ice scraper, de-icer and a shovel.
what do you think?
What a sad sad country we have become a Bit of snow and we raid the supermarket shelves and shut the country down . What is wrong with people today we used to get proper amounts of snow two / three foot deep was normal and life just went on as normal
Windows user, it did in my small village in Scotland, we had 30ft drifts on all roads, we had no contact with the outside world for nearly two weeks, and no mobile phones, I wonder how I am here now
I think people used to work more locally, in general. Now everyone has cars and people tend to travel further to work. The panic buying is ridiculous though. I always keep one spare loaf in the freezer all year round anyway
Be very careful today.leave early, take it steady, leave plenty of room between you and car in front, take your foot off the accelerator.better to arrive late then never arriving at all.and wear sensible footwear.
I had a lift there and back.PS I am not in the east midlands to cause the earth quake.ha ha ha
Ermmm why the thumbs down on this post??Some of you are soo nasty ans cruel..
Yes i thought that was funny this morning after yesterdays comments.too much of coincidence i thought .must be diane again i thought.
People being antagonistic pinky.been a lot of it lately.take no notice.
Pinkylilac. I get it all the time,don't worry about it. On a serious subject like this it is very uncaring people could be injured.
Don't know why you got minuses Shaun-it is a bit silly, just ignore it. I get so many thumbs downs that i don't even look in that corner anymore
think people are giving shaun the thumbs down becsuse it does come across as a bit patronising, even though.he means well.
Im certainly not meaning to be being patronising but if one person heeds the comment and avoids an accident then the comment will have been very worthwhile.if people cant see that and they drive reckessly then thats up to them.i just hope they dont hurt anybody else.
I thought of that too Andrea although i don't feel that personally and think he was only trying to spread good cheer
Well ive certainly going to heed your advice shaun.on the news this morning a man was reporting on a bridge over the motorway and he pointed out that the cars were far too close too each other.and how foolish it was.snow here too by the way.
why is it that every other country that is susceptible to snow in winter seems to be ready for it? This country always expresses surprise when snow falls. Not the public, but the numpties who are paid a fortune to anticipate snow and to kick in the services to combat it and keep the country rolling. It beggars belief, it really does. Every year same old story,'we have the services to keep the roads clear and running' Im not gonna use the word I want to coz Orange will block it but im sure you guys know wot it is.lol
hi again windows user, salt does not work on snow, and if the temp goes below -6 it does not work on ice either
One person went home with twenty loaves.? Silly. A very very light dusting of snow here but rapidly melting and turning to rain.come on snow, please snow.
Noooo snow pls don't snow!!Roll on spring enough already!
Come and visit us we have loads.
ha ha. hope it goes stale and.birds have it. daft person. country goes mad over snow these days.
Pinky I do love the spring but it is so much better after a good load of snow!
Dont forget to check on elderly neighbours and to spare a few crumbs for the birds.
Got a huge bag of bill odie bird mix ready
Well said Shaun. We should think of others more often instead of the I'm all right jack attitude which exists in this country
im stocked up with bread and lard. snow balled a few old ladies and scared a bird away from as they spread disease. i love snow
Twenty loaves?! We have two in the freezer lol. I have no spare milk or enough bananas to feed king Kong his lunch. I think I'll survive though!
If it gets too bad to drive the 100mts to the shop on the corner of our road we will all starve in our house. I knew i should of gone to the supermarket yesterday and bought loads of shopping that will more than likely go off and get thrown away. Good job we've got plenty of mystery meat burgers in the freezer......... SORT YOUR SELVES OUT BRITAIN, YOU DONT GET PEOPLE BEHAVING LIKE THIS IN SIBERIA!!!
It is silly. "Good Morning" are asking people to send in their snow pictures!
Maybe the person with the 20 loaves runs a cafe and was let down by a supplier or indeed is doing a run for the elderly in the street. It's not bitterly cold being below zero. Can we get real with these headlines? Canada is at minus 25, minus 3 is not.
You never hear of panic buying in churchill, they get isolated for weeks on end and have to run the gauntlet with the local marauding polar bears
I work in a coffee shop often sent to tesco for loads of milk and in past bread.People shouldn't be so quick to judge..Don't understand the banana one though maybe a banana bread craze is going on that we don't know about?!?! :os
When i was pregnant and ill, all i could eat was banana sandwiches, although not quite in that quantity!
Many people buy in bulk like that. As Pinky and Angela said. cafes often use the supermarkets. I used to shop for the hostel i worked in- do you have any idea how many loaves you need for 12 teenage boys? A lot more than 20!
This country is a joke. Finland. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, etc, laugh at us. Regardless of winter conditions these & other countries with extreme winter conditions continue to function with their schools open, railways & other transport systems running. Every winter seems to come as a total surprise to local authorities with shortages of salt, sand & grit. Get a grip for God's sake!
Actually often these comtrys dont cope as well as it seems.i can only believe you not been there in winter.though because the snow is a regular thing there they are more prepared as individuals.for example who in this country keeps chains in their boots to put on the tyres or a pair of snow shoes.
I have Canadian relatives. Life goes on there and they are geared up to it as they have snow lying fron October to March and usually loads of it. We hardly ever get snow now so it would be foolish to spend too much money on preparation for this kind of weather
Shaun is right. These countries do suffer disruption, usually when the snow first falls as everything and everywhere cannot be cleared at once. It is also the case that they get so much of it that it is essential to invest heavily in measures that allow life to go on more or less as normal. Anther point is that the temperatures in this country hover around freezing point, with snow melting and then freezing again.
As usual the same old " others cope "comments from folks who have proberly new been outside of the UK. I have worked in Germany on several occasions and can assure you after snow the roads clog up ,airports close and trains run late just as they do here.
shaun, please be careful although it would seem sensible to put snowchains on your tyres it could affect your insurance if you have an accident.
Can't speak for Europe but in Quebec nothing stops for the snow. They have snow chains, sledges, skis. If life stopped there it would stop for months so they are totally equipped for it. The only thing that brings things to a halt are ice storms, but they are quite rare
North europe is pretty much the same.norway relies very much on a ferry (the hurtegurten) supplying the north of the country when trains and roads are blocked.who in this country would buy their other halfs skies for xmas
I can't understand all the panic these days. Schools closing, shops running out of food, roads closing. It's not like no-one knew it was coming. Now we'll have to endure the weather forecasters making a drama out of it whilst standing in the deepest bit of snow they can find. Oh well, at least there's the off button.
they finally got it right here on merseyside--the white stuff is falling at last---just getting out the humble pie. Looks nice though.
Panic buying is so pathetic. Why buy 20 loaves of bread? Grow up you prat!!!
yes and very civic minded by the supermarket allowing one person to have all 20 leaving nothing on the shelf for the oap that struggled to get there by public transport.
Schools shut because teachers think they are beyond driving in the snow which the rest of us have to because we have to work!!!
Quick to leave negative score, but nothing to back it up with. Sad!!!
Anthony it's for everyone to be safe. Years ago more teachers tended to live locally. Now they travel far ti get to their schools. The weather may well be much worse where they are The schools are showing good practice, unlike the .employers who are very inflexible
I think its a good reason for peaple to skive. I did myself but i was self employed. It only has to snow an inch and we all stay at home here.i like the fun and quality time you can have with the kids and its lovely walking and photo opportunity.
I drive in the snow and i walk in the snow. I take care and am sensible. I am not talking about skiving cause there is an inch of snow on the faiground. Two years ago we were snowed in and all the roads were shut. One mile from us people were stuck on the M8 for over 24 hours, in their cars, overnight and freezing with no emergency services cause they couldn't get through either. I know that doesn't happen frequently but our schools don't close frequently either
And i had to take five days annuual leave because there were no trains or buses for that time. Our teachers did a brilliant job trying to keep the schools open. My partner works forty miles away and couldn'r get into work by any means. He was disciplined and i bet you wouldn't be happy if that happened to you Anthony
@Louisa: Why don't we all stay at home then and let the country grind to a complete halt?
Well said. I have just been to our town centre all the shops are open,The shop where I work is open our manageress lives in the wilds she is in work
Don't really think i was suggesting that Anthony. And i'm not bothered by a bit of snow but when roads close and the public transport system fails then there's not much you can do, is there? Why be so cross about some snow anyway?
Diane i think that the severity of the snow can vary so much locally. I live on high ground so we get much more snow than three miles down the road, but that can be enough to stop things in thier tracks and then the people three miles away don't believe you!
@ Diane: Thanks. Someone taking sense for once.
The media tend to work people into a frenzy, some people I hasten to add. Most are sensible in a country that given the diversity and unpredictable nature of it's weather, is run by people who are a bit bad at coping with it. The floods for example... and a week of hot weather signals a hose-pipe ban and threats of stand pipes.
It's bloody snow for God's sake - you know .. frozen water that eventually thaws and goes away. Do the 'meeja' and 'management' derive some sort of thrill by issuing warning after warning or have we allowed the blame culture to infest even weather conditions where they have now become one huge ar*e covering exercise - ie : we warned you so don't think about blaming/claiming [same thing nowadays] us.
My college is closed today. Snow work me! Ba boom!
Let the chaos begin!!!!!