Snow Blankets Southern UK, Disrupting Travel

The southern end of the UK is being blanketed under what could become 15 inches of snow today, causing travel delays in numerous areas.

Forecasters have told The Guardian that heavy snow was expected across Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, warning that almost half a meter of snow could fall on Salisbury Plain.

Manchester and Liverpool's John Lennon airports were closed this morning owing to heavy snowfall, although both have now reopened and are trying to clear the backlog. Flights were also delayed or canceled at Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Luton, Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports.

Ten train services between London and Leeds on the east coast mainline were cancelled today, and an overhead wire problem brought delays to passengers travelling on East Coast, First Capital Connect and First Hull Trains services.

Britain's roads appear to be taking the brunt, and with crashes rendering many motorways inaccessible, police in some areas are warning commuters against travelling unless their journey is essential. A number of countryside routes were also closed including the Cat and Fiddle, the Snake and the Woodhead passes as well as the Greenfield to Holmfirth road.

Motorists in Northern Ireland were also warned of hazardous driving conditions as ice has made some roads impassable. Many schools and businesses were forced close and airports in Belfast and Derry were also hit by delays due to the wintry conditions.

All First bus services in Sheffield were suspended until further notice and Stagecoach services in Barnsley were also stopped until roads could be treated. A spokesman said a range of other bus services in the county had been suspended, but Sheffield's Supertram system was still running.

Photo courtesy of Laura Hurley