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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow and ice cause travel chaos across Britain

Heavy snow and icy roads are causing chaos across most of the UK, where Met Office severe weather warnings are in place as the "deep freeze" continues.

Hundreds of schools closed, many roads are hazardous, and buses, trains and planes have been delayed. Several airports have suspended flights.

Snow fell in Scotland, and large parts of England and Wales, in what is said to be the coldest snap in decades. Snowfalls of up to 30cm (12in) have been forecast for southern England.

Forecasters say the band will stretch from London to Cardiff, and warn some areas may even see 40cm (16in) of snow on higher ground on Tuesday evening.

As the weather deteriorates in the south of England, South West Trains have said they will be operating a revised timetable on Wednesday. The company hopes to run about 70% of its services.

Southeastern Trains will also be on a revised timetable. It said only a "limited number of services" would arrive in London before 0900 GMT. Southampton Airport closed on Tuesday evening, and there is widespread congestion on many of Hampshire's roads due to heavy snow. The A27 was blocked in both directions between the M27 junction and Segensworth because of abandoned cars. All flights in and out of Gatwick and London Luton airports have been suspended.

Other problems have included:

Liverpool John Lennon Airport shut twice but reopened at 2030. Passengers are advised to check with their airline

All bus services have been suspended in Merseyside, and the same applies to "virtually all" buses in Manchester

Train services between Inverness and Aviemore continue to be disrupted after a freight train was derailed

East Coast Main Line is operating a revised timetable due to the adverse weather. Some services may be subject to alteration, cancellation or delay

Dozens of Easyjet flights have been cancelled from both UK and European airports

North West Ambulance Service is only responding to life-threatening cases, as weather hinders emergency vehicles

Buses across Yorkshire badly affected, with many running only on major routes

For more information and video reports via the BBC News website click here

Posted by D.Drake

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