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Heavy snow brought renewed travel chaos to Britain , creating paralysis on motorways, the railnetwork and at airports.

Snow causes travel chaos

Heavy snow brought renewed travel chaos to Britain , creating paralysis on motorways, the railnetwork and at airports. Britain ‘ssecond largest airport, Gatwick remained closed for 24 hours after another 15cm of snow fell.The closure has disrupted the travel plans of 250,000 passengers. Train companies in the south-eastwere struggling to cope with the conditions. Southern said itwould not run any services before 10am, and that even then there would be nothing south of East Croydon.

Southeastern, which runs busy commuter trains in Kent and Sussex , said it was running an extremely limited service and advised commuters to consider whether they needed to travel. Southern trains and the Gatwick Express were suspended until at least 10am on Thursday. Passengers were stranded overnight on a train from London to Brighton. Eurostar said half of its services to Brussels were cancelled and there were delays of up to 60 minutes because of snow in Kent and France. On the roads, police in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex were warning against non-essential journeys.

The motorways most badly affected included the M25 in Kent and Surrey. The AA attended 11,300 incidents just in one day. In Hampshire, the M3 was closed northbound because of a jackknifed lorry, while drivers were urged to avoid the M20 in Kent, which was closed coast bound between junctions eight and 13 due to blizzards and the implementation of Operation Stack, where lorries heading for the Channel ports are parked on the motorway. Severe weather warnings for heavy snow remained in place for the north-east, Yorkshire and Humber, the east, the south-west and London and the south-east, with forecasts of up to 20cm in some places.

In Scotland , warnings were in force in Grampian, Strathclyde, Central, Tayside and Fife , and south-west, Lothian and Borders. Temperatures fell to -18.6°C in the Highlands overnight. As the level of disruption continued to escalate across the country, the government ordered an urgent audit of the country’s snow readiness. Philip Hammond, the transport secretary, criticised poor communications that had left motorists and The runway at London ‘s City airport and Edinburgh airport have also been closed until snow is cleared causing more travel chaos.

The Met Office was able to offer a faint glimmer of hope that an end to the protracted cold snap could be in sight. David Price, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Showers will be pushing in from the north-east coast and across England , all the way through to the east coast. “A band of snow will continue to affect south-east England with the home counties, Kent , Surrey and London all experiencing between 2cm and 5cm of snowfall. Southern counties and Devon will also have snow.” Temperatures are expected to rise slightly towards the weekend.

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