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Snow Continues to Disrupt Travel Throughout Great Britain

February 5, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox


The Guadrian is reporting that snow and harsh winter conditions were causing disruptions across the UK today, with some councils warning that salt and grit supplies are running low.

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Further disruption was expected to public transport, schools and businesses with severe weather warnings in place in south Wales, north Devon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire today, as snow continued to fall.

Forecasters said the worst of the weather was likely to be in the Midlands with as much as 4 inches of snow; however, the south and west of England and Wales ground to a halt today after waking up to their heaviest falls of snow this week.

The M4, particularly around Bristol and Swindon, the M5 and the M1 in the south Midlands were badly affected. Runways at Luton and East Midlands airports were closed, there were bus and train cancellations in Bristol and drivers were stranded in snow in the Cotswolds.

Some councils are becoming increasingly worried about stocks of salt and have begun to limit its use to major roads.

All flights to and from Luton airport were halted this morning after the volume of snow that fell overnight took staff by surprise. There were heavy delays on the approach roads to the airport, with one motorist saying it took him four hours to move 20 yards. Luton suspended check-in and said flights were not expected to resume until 11.30am.

In the Highlands, police urged motorists to obey road closures for their own safety after it emerged some drivers had been removing road-closed signs from snowbound roads and driving past. A number of routes in the north-east and Highlands have been closed to all traffic after up to eight inches of snow fell overnight, worsening the extremely difficult driving conditions in the eastern Highlands and north-east Scotland.

The main road to Inverness and the Highlands, the A9, was closed between Aviemore and Inverness, while the A96 was shut between Keith and Inverurie, with other routes shut by snow, accidents and fallen trees. Police in Aberdeen warned of severe congestion in the city, while Aberdeen airport's runway was also closed.

The train operator First Great Western said services between London and south Wales and Bristol were subject to delays. Chiltern Railways said delays of up to 30 minutes could be expected on all routes to and from London Marylebone during the morning peak hours, while Aylesbury Vale Parkway station was closed.

CrossCountry reported similar half-hour delays on all routes via Birmingham New Street during the morning peak hours. Services between Inverness and Aberdeen were subject to alterations and cancellations and customers were "strongly advised" not to attempt to travel.

Virgin Trains services on all routes to and from London Euston were subject to delays of up to 30 minutes due to speed restrictions. Wrexham & Shropshire railways reported delays of up to 30 minutes on all routes to and from London Marylebone during the morning peak hours.

Commuter services in London, however, have largely returned to normal.

Saturday is expected to be cold but sunny in inland areas and Sunday could bring more sleet and snow.

Photo by Laura Hurley, Surrey, England



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By Jena Tesse Fox | February 5, 2009
The Guadrian is reporting that snow and harsh winter conditions were causing disruptions across the UK today.
Filed under : United Kingdom