M1 shut and 24,000 lose power as snow hits UK


An accident in treacherous conditions has closed the M1 and 24,000 homes are without power after overnight snowstorms hit the UK.

A lorry crash has closed all three lanes of the M1 southbound prior to junction 19, with Leicestershire Police telling Sky News it was likely caused by the wintry conditions.
There are tailbacks stretching several miles with people trying to return to work or from Christmas breaks.

Police tweeted: “There has been an accident involving a lorry. Unfortunately, all lanes are currently blocked. Police and Highways are aware and are currently dealing. Please make alternative travel arrangements. Updates to follow.”

A lorry has also jack-knifed on the M5 at junction 11a.

The A46 was closed in both directions between the A435 and A422 near Alcester. There are reports an HGV left the carriageway amid difficult driving conditions before the road was reopened.

There is disruption on the A14 westbound in Suffolk between junctions 47 Elmswell and 45 due to flooding.

Motorists across the country are being warned to take extra care as snow settles in parts.

Up to 7cm of snow was recorded to have fallen over Exmoor, South Wales and the Cotswolds overnight.

Strong winds have been recorded in parts of the south west, with gusts of up to 50mph across Cornwall.

Meanwhile, Western Power Distribution confirmed 13,899 homes were without electricity across southwestern and central parts of the country.

SSE also has around 10,000 customers without power.

Passengers at Stansted Airport were left waiting as the runway was closed temporarily to allow safety checks to be completed.

Travellers at Luton Airport have also been warned to expect disruption due to sleet and snow, with reported delays of more than two hours as crews de-iced aircraft.

A spokesman for the airport said: “The airport is open and the runway operational but air traffic control restrictions are in place.

“There are some delays as airlines de-ice their aircraft. We advise all passengers to check with their airline for the latest status of their flight.”

The Environment Agency is currently issuing 10 flood warnings and 113 flood alerts, mainly in the South West and central England.

Passengers at Birmingham Airport have been warned the snow is likely to impact flights.

East Midlands Trains reported heavy snow between Market Harborough and Kettering had resulted in delays.