Image copyright Matt Argyle Image caption “Intensive” efforts are being made to reach drivers stuck on the A30 in Cornwall Heavy snow is sweeping eastwards across the UK, disrupting travel and leaving 100 drivers stuck on a major trunk road in Cornwall. The freezing weather is moving across southern England and Wales, affecting Wiltshire, Hampshire,
Heavy snow is sweeping eastwards across the UK, disrupting travel and leaving 100 drivers stuck on a major trunk road in Cornwall.
The freezing weather is moving across southern England and Wales, affecting Wiltshire, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.
People in London have been advised to finish any journeys by 21:00 GMT.
There are warnings of rail delays and flights cancellations into Friday morning as the Met Office upgraded its weather warning from yellow to amber.
Snow depths of 5cm (2in) have been recorded in Cornwall and Mid Wales, the Met Office said.
Disruption so far includes:
- About 100 drivers have been stuck for hours on the A30 in Cornwall
- Transport for London has advised commuters to try to finish their journeys by 21:00 GMT due to warnings of ice, sleet, snow and windy conditions
- British Airways has warned that some short-haul flights to and from Heathrow Airport on Friday morning have been cancelled or merged
- Southeastern Trains has introduced a winter timetable for Friday morning and South West Railway has warned of cancellations as tracks are cleared
- Newquay Airport was closed due to the snowstorm but has now reopened
- Some schools in Wales closed early and others have announced they will be shut on Friday
- Chepstow Racecourse has also cancelled Friday’s meet
An “intensive effort” is taking place to rescue motorists stuck on the A30 at Bodmin Moor, local police said.
Paula Martin was one of hundreds of cars which got stuck.
“I got within two miles of home and the snow arrived very quickly and very suddenly.
“Within minutes the A30 very quickly became impassable, especially for the lorries – and it went from bad to worse”, she said.
Cornwall Council has warned that abandoned vehicles on the A30 and other roads are delaying efforts to free trapped motorists.
Highways England has warned drivers to avoid the area and other routes as well.
British Airways advised customers to check their flight status for cancellations and said people due to travel on short-haul flights were being offered the option to postpone their journey.
“Safety is always our priority, and we’re working hard to keep our operation moving. We’re sorry that some of our services are being delayed by the weather conditions,” a spokeswoman said.
Southeastern Trains said 21 trains were cancelled or altered to minimise the impact of ice forming on the rails.
It will run its “winter weather timetable” on Friday – with passengers warned of peak services being busier than normal because of changes to some train times.
South Western Railway has warned passengers that trains may be cancelled on Friday morning while the tracks are checked and cleared.
What’s the forecast?
Up to 10cm of snow is expected in parts of the UK with snow depths of 5cm (2in) already recorded in Cornwall and Mid Wales, the Met Office says.
Further snow is forecast overnight into Friday, with 5-10cm (2-4in) expected in Wales and south west England.
In other parts of southern England, there could be 1-7cm (up to 3in) of snow.
BBC Weather presenter Stav Danaos said very heavy snow caused disruption for Thursday evening’s rush hour across the south west of England.
Mid and south Wales, central and southern parts of England, and south east England will see the worst of the weather.
The north east of England and north Scotland will also see snow showers and cold temperatures on Thursday night.
The Met Office says the amber warning in south west England and south Wales could mean rural communities are cut off and cuts to power and mobile phone service are possible.
Temperatures fell to their lowest level this winter, with Braemar, Aberdeenshire, dropping to -14.4C (6F) this morning.
It is the lowest in the UK since -15.6C in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, in 2012.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland have also recorded their lowest temperatures this winter with:
- Redesdale, Northumberland, falling to -10.4C (13.3F)
- Sennybridge, Powys, dropping to -9.3C (15.3F)
- Magilligan, County Londonderry, falling to -8.5C (16.7F).
What warnings are in place?
An amber warning is in place for heavy snow in an area across south Wales, south and south west England until Thursday evening.
There are also yellow warnings for snow and ice until lunchtime on Friday in some parts of Wales and southern, eastern and south east England, including London.
They warn of some snow, but not prolonged falls, and say some stretches of road will be icy.
Much of Scotland and the north east of England will see snow showers continuing into Friday. A warning of ice here is also in place until Friday lunchtime.
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