Travel chaos has descended on Britain today after a white blanket of snow swept across large swathes of the UK, closing roads, causing crashes and creating delays on the railway lines – and weather experts warn more is on its way.
Parts of the north such as Wigan, Liverpool and Manchester were hit by heavy snow overnight, along with Stoke-on-Trent and other areas of the Midlands. Areas of the south including Oxfordshire and parts of Hampshire have also seen snow.
So heavy was the snowfall in Gloucestershire, it prompted the local police to warn members of the public to take care and to ‘only go out if it is essential to do so’. The force had a number of reports of snow around the county causing disruption, which was hampering people in the Forest of Dean and the A417 around Birdlip.
Meanwhile, roads were closed in parts of Lancashire, Shropshire and in Wales this morning. Londoners have so far avoided the snow, but awoke to temperatures of 0C (32F) this morning.
Large areas of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have today been placed under a yellow weather warning by the Met Office, who warn more snow and ice could be on the way later today.
One yellow warning, which covers London, most of the Home Counties, much of the west Midlands and Wales, forecasts snow and ice today.
Meanwhile, another yellow alert, covering the north-west of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, also warns of snow and ice.
Both yellow alerts warn of widespread disruption to travel, including roads, trains and busses. There were also 100 flood warnings in place in England on Monday morning.
Drivers have already faced delays on motorways today, including on the M56 between Chester and Manchester, where only one westbound lane remained open this morning due to snow.
Highways England officials were deployed to help a trucker on the same motorway after the lorry driver lost control on the eastbound carriageway near Lymm.
North West Motorway Police have reported at least three crashes on the M60 this morning, one on the M6 and one on the M56. In one post on Twitter, they said: ‘Just a reminder to drivers, it is very slippy on the roads today.’
One lane of the M6 in both directions was closed between Stoke and Warrington at around 11am to allow snow to be cleared of the carriageway. The northbound M5 near Junction 1 at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, was brought to a standstill after an incident in the snowy conditions.
Staffordshire Police also warned of ‘serious disruption’, with several roads in the area impassable.
There are also warning of delays on trains through the north-west and the Midlands due to snow, while there is currently a tree down in the Stoke area, causing delays. The clearance work is said to be taking longer than usual due to the snow.
Air travel is also reportedly disrupted at Manchester Airport, with pictures showing snow either side of the runway. One passenger said his plane had been waiting on the tarmac for three hours.
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport told Manchester Evening News that said aircraft being de-iced before departure was causing a minor delay to some flights and is ‘standard procedure’ in these weather conditions.
In the West Midlands, Dudley Zoo said it would be closed on Monday after heavy snow overnight.