Snow chaos hits UK

SNOW has caused chaos across the UK this morning leading to roads being closed, planes grounded and commuter chaos.Train passengers faced delays and motorists were warned to take extra care, with some roads impossible to pass.

SNOW has caused chaos across the UK this morning leading to roads being closed, planes grounded and commuter chaos.

Train passengers faced delays and motorists were warned to take extra care, with some roads impossible to pass.

Thousands of airline passengers found flights delayed or cancelled.

Several airports in the South were forced to suspend departures after snow paralysed airfields.

Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Stansted and Luton airports all temporarily closed their runways. Gatwick and Heathrow also cancelled some departures.

The blanket of snow stretched from the South of England, covering Wales, the Midlands and reaching up to Lancashire and across to the Humber.

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The snow was 7cm deep in the Midlands. In more mountainous areas it was predicted to reach between 10-15cm.

A Met Office spokesman said there were also snow showers today in eastern Scotland and north-eastern England.

An army of gritters was out in force to help motorists.

The Highways Agency said 400 salt-spreading vehicles were on stand-by.

Drivers were warned not to travel in the severe weather unless their journey was essential.

They were told to prepare with warm clothes, food, water, boots, de-icer, a torch and spade.

Areas of Wales were worst hit. A 3ft snow drift was reported at The Arch, in Cwmystwyth, mid Wales.

The snow also forced schools to shut.

Train passengers also endured delays. Network Rail said all routes on the rail network were open, but services were running with delays of approximately 20 minutes.

Industry chiefs have warned that transport failures today could cost the economy hundreds of millions of pounds.

Meanwhile, Ladbrokes bookies is offering odds of 20/1 that the temperature will fall below the lowest ever recorded in the UK (-27.2 C) this month.

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