Monday, January 4, 2010

Heavy Snow Set To Bring More Travel Chaos

Commuters in London and the south-east are being warned of travel chaos as snow and sleet is expected to spread southwards on Tuesday.

Sky News

Heavy snow already affecting parts of Scotland and Ireland is expected to hit many parts of England by morning and reach the Home Counties and the capital by lunchtime.

Sky weather presenter Lucy Verasamy said "significant snow" would cause disruption during the morning rush hour.

"It will be very wintry and snowy come Tuesday morning, with plunging temperatures and frost and ice on the roads once more, and a line of sleet and snow anywhere from the East Midlands and Lincolnshire, across the West Midlands and into Wales," she said.

"It will shuffle into the South East, Greater London and Home Counties by the latter stages of the morning.

"Further sleet and snow is expected in the South and East. In the West there will be brighter skies with some sunshine but it will be terribly cold for all of us.

"And it is to stay bitter as the week goes on, with very low temperatures, sunshine and snow showers."

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for the South East and warned of travel problems due to snow and sleet.

The cold weather has already resulted in delays for travellers returning to work after the festive break.

In London, there were overland rail delays at Liverpool Street Station and in north and east London due to a broken down train.

On London Underground there were part-suspensions on two lines due to signal failures - the District and the Hammersmith & City.

In Scotland, severe weather conditions led to delays to rail services between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

After a freezing night during which temperatures dipped to -12C (10F) in places, a series of accidents led to jams on major road routes.

A vehicle fire closed a section of the M6 in Warwickshire and part of the nearby M42 was also shut, as was the M6 toll slip road to the southbound M6 in the West Midlands.

An accident closed a section of the A38 in Staffordshire, while broken down cars led to congestion on the A2 in Kent, the M1 in Leicestershire and the M5 in the West Midlands.

Thousands of school children enjoyed an extra day's holiday as dozens of schools were shut due to the wintry weather.

There were 19 closures in Northumberland, 13 in Lancashire and 12 in Durham.

Seven schools were also shut in North Yorkshire due to weather and heating problems and one in Staffordshire due to conditions on local roads.

But the freezing conditions have delivered an unexpected bonus for some people.

Around 60 guests seeing in the New Year at the Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales - England's highest pub which stands at 1,700ft above sea level - were forced to spend three days snowed in.

Heavy, relentless snowstorms on New Year's Eve left the guests stranded in the pub as 7ft drifts left them unable to get to their cars as they tried to leave on New Year's Day.

But resourceful landlady Tracy Daly, her husband Mike Peace, and two staff sprang into action to keep the stranded guests watered and fed.

The guests passed the time by playing cards and servicing the bar until the roads were finally cleared today.

Ms Daly said: "There was a lovely, community atmosphere despite the fact nobody could get home. I suppose there are worse places to be snowed in than a pub."