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More travel disruption for ‘snowstruck’ Britain

Travel congestion in the snowWith even more snow falling in Britain, travel is expected to be disrupted again today. Hundreds of schools have been closed this week, rail and road travel have been disrupted, and some airports have reported flight delays and cancellations. Southern England and some of Wales and Scotland were ‘snowstruck’ over the night, and travellers need to stay up-to-date on travel conditions before setting out this morning.

The Met Office issued an amber snow warning for south west England and south Wales through this morning. It has forecast that up to two inches of snow would fall in south west England, while high ground could get as much as 4 inches. Motorists in parts of Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire have been warned about dangerous driving conditions due to the fresh, heavy snow. In Wales, the south eastern counties are most likely to get most of the heavy snowfall, with up to 4 inches expected. Traffic Wales warned motorists about dangerous driving conditions on Merthyr Tydfil, the Coryton interchange for Cardiff and on the A470 at junction 32.

In Scotland, the A9 was closed and then reopened following a crash that injured a 70-year-old man. He was treated at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. Grampian Police are encouraging drivers to be extremely cautious in the expected drifting snow. In Northern Ireland, the Met Office issued an icy roads warning. Since Monday, the country has been hit with between two and four inches of snow, and most of it fell in the Antrim and Down counties. With the snowfall overnight across parts of the UK, road travel will continue to be disrupted, causing congestion.

As for rail disruption, Eurostar has warned travellers that delays of as long as one hour can be expected due to speed restrictions. The restrictions have been imposed because of the ice and snow. With the winter weather, some services to Brussels and Paris were cancelled yesterday. Other train operators were reporting revised schedules and cancellations, including Southeastern, Southern and Gatwick Express. National Rail said all service are expected to run today, but travellers should check with their rail company before heading to the station.

From about 6pm last night, all flights to and from Bristol Airport were suspended due to snow, and some of the evening flights were rescheduled for this morning. Also yesterday, dozens of flight cancellations were made at Heathrow Airport, and passengers were warned that further delays and cancellations are expected. A spokesman for the hub said that there isn’t any slack in their schedule since the airport is running at nearly 100% capacity. Because of this, flights are unfortunately being cancelled. More cancellations are imminent given the poor weather at other European airports, he added. Other flight delays were reported at Luton, Birmingham, Stansted and Gatwick airports as well. It may take some time for airlines to ease the backlog of cancelled flights.

Meanwhile, there have been about 12 deaths reported as a result of the winter weather. On Friday, a 32-year-old woman died in a crash on the A1. A 54-year-old man from Accrington, Lancashire died after slipping on ice close to his home. He had been visiting a pub on Saturday evening and was returning home, but he was unable to survive the head injury sustained after the slippery fall. The same night, a 25-year-old woman is said to have died after collapsing in the snow while travelling home following a night out. On Monday, a postman died after suffering an apparent heart attack as he tried to get his van out of deep snow.

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