share on:

Blizzards are battering the UK causing widespread disruption for a third day, as a second highly unusual red alert for snow comes into effect.
The warning, meaning “risk to life”, covers the South West and South Wales , which is being hit by Storm Emma.
More than 300 people have been stranded on a motorway in Scotland in freezing temperatures – some for 20 hours.
A woman has been found dead in a snowy street in Leeds but her death is not being treated as suspicious.
The 75-year-old was found partially hidden beneath a car in the Farsley area of the city.
Elsewhere, a 46-year-old man has died in a road crash after a collision with a lorry in icy conditions on the A34 near Tot Hill services, Berkshire.
National Grid says there may not be enough gas to meet demand on Thursday in the UK, leading to possible shortages for industrial users.
Thousands of schools are closed in south Wales, southern England and Scotland.
A red alert for snow in Scotland – the country’s first- has been lifted but an amber alert remains in place.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people there not to travel, warning they face a “significant risk” of ending up stranded in heavy snow.Blizzards, biting winds and significant travel disruption are also affecting southern, western and central England, parts of Wales and Northern Ireland.
This is the third day of disruption caused by heavy snowfall, with reports of “near zero visibility” on some roads in Cumbria.
How have the roads been affected?
The M66 between Ramsbottom and Bury has been closed due to a 16-vehicle crash . One person has been taken to hospital following the crash, and 20 others have been treated by paramedics at the scene
In Lincolnshire, drivers have been stuck overnight on the A52 between Boston and Skegness. Lincolnshire Police said all major routes in the county were blocked either by snow, HGVs or cars
On Wednesday, the RAF in Lincolnshire used 10 off-road vehicles to help transport health staff to hospitals and vulnerable people
Stagecoach East Midlands has suspended all rural services
There have been eight miles of tailbacks eastbound on the M62 between Rochdale and Huddersfield, due to the heavy snowfall
John Gent is one of the hundreds of drivers who have been stuck on the M80 since Wednesday evening.
He has spent 15 hours on the gridlocked road near Stirling in freezing conditions.
He said: “I grabbed a few hours sleep here and there, running the car engine to keep warm.
“Fortunately local people on the neighbouring estates have been bringing over bottles of water and handing out blankets.”
He said drivers had been given “very little information” on when the cars could start moving.
Earlier, a baby was born in a car in snowy conditions on the A66 at Elton near Stockton in County Durham. The mother and baby have since been taken to hospital.
What is happening with the trains?
Across the UK, more than 20 rail operators are running a reduced service.
In London, Paddington Station was closed for nearly three hours due to severe weather conditions, and in Kent 50 stations are closed.
National Rail is reporting mass disruption in the South East, Scotland, north-west England and the South West.
Virgin Trains has resumed its west coast service to and from Scotland, although trains to Edinburgh are still cancelled and passengers on east coast routes are urged not to travel until Saturday
Arriva Trains Wales is running amended timetables throughout Wales and all trains from Cardiff to Manchester have been disrupted
Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport have been heavily affected by the earlier Paddington closure
East Midlands Trains are unable to run any trains between Nottingham and Skegness
There are numerous delays and cancellations on the Northern network, with all trains through Huddersfield delayed by up to 50 minutes or cancelled
Scot Rail is running limited services until 19:00 GMT between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Glasgow Central and Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central and Ayr
CrossCountry services are suspended between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central/Newcastle
How are the airports affected?Airports across Britain are being affected by the cold weather, and the knock-on effect of other terminals across the UK and Europe cancelling flights.
Glasgow Airport: The airport will stay closed for the rest of Thursday. More than 200 passengers spent the night in the terminal
Edinburgh Airport: The airport will fully close from 18:00 GMT to give staff time to prepare for Friday’s conditions
Cardiff Airport: Flybe has cancelled flights after 15:00 GMT due to the red weather warning in south Wales
East Midlands Airport: The runway has reopened after being closed because of the snow but it warns passengers of cancellations and delays
Heathrow Airport: Some flights have been cancelled, with short-haul flights to airports including Dublin and Glasgow severely affected
Gatwick Airport: About 50 of the 350 flights due to depart from the terminal have been cancelled and there are also significant delays to other flights. Customers are advised to check before travelling
City Airport: There are multiple cancellations and delays at the airport, mainly affecting Irish and internal flights
Are we running out of gas?
National Grid said it may not have enough gas to meet the UK’s demand on Thursday, and asked suppliers to provide more.

U

se of gas across Britain hit a six-year high on Wednesday, coupled with “significant supply losses”. Some pipelines carrying gas from the Netherlands and Belgium have had problems this week.
If suppliers cannot provide more gas, industry, large businesses and gas-fired power stations will be asked to use less.
Consumers will only be asked to use less gas as a last resort if these measures do not work.
What is the forecast?
The Met Office says the cold weather could last into next week and possibly the following week.
BBC Weather’s Ben Rich predicted “blizzard conditions” by Thursday evening across south-west England, Wales and parts of the Midlands.
He said a “biting easterly wind” will make it feel like -11C (12F) in Birmingham and Cardiff – on what is the first day of meteorological spring.
There is potential for up to 50cm (19.6 inches) of snow over parts of Dartmoor and Exmoor, the Met Office added, with up to 20cm (7.8 inches) falling in southern England, Wales and the West Midlands.

Leave a Response