Published on 19 Jan 2013 Sections ,

UK snow set to stay amid travel chaos

As hazardous weather conditions cause travel chaos across the UK, Channel 4 News’ weather presenter Liam Dutton warns that the big freeze could last another week.

UK snow: Bad weather is forecast for another week, with more snow and travel delays on its way (Image: Getty)

Britain’s busiest airport Heathrow was likened to a “refugee camp” after Friday’s deluge of snow led to knock-on disruption on Saturday.

Having cancelled more than 100 flights on Saturday, Heathrow issued a statement warning that on Sunday the flight schedule will be reduced by 20 per cent.

Passengers were also warned it is possible that weather conditions at other European airports will increase the number of cancellations.

People due to travel tomorrow are urged to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.

More than 100 flights were cancelled today amid angry scenes at the airport, as travellers had to sleep on the floor for a second day after flights continued to be hit by the weather.

Though much of Saturday’s snowfall was limited to the North East of England and the east of Scotland, on Sunday a blanket of snow is expected to fall across more of the nation, hitting London and the South East of England first before moving north.

Weather forecast: Snow to stay
Further light snow flurries are likely on Saturday, but most places will stay dry with little thawing of lying snow as temperatures struggle to get much above 0C.However, more snow is expected for central and eastern parts of England on Sunday, with 2-5cm, locally more, possible.
Another concern for many this weekend will be ice, where snow thaws a little during the daytime, then refreezes at night as temperatures dip below freezing again. Looking ahead to next week, the cold weather is here to stay, with the risk of more sleet and snow at times as milder air tries to move in from the Atlantic.
You can get the latest five day forecast on the Channel 4 Weather website and I'll be tweeting updates on Twitter - @liamdutton

BA is ‘bloody awful’

Frustrated passengers at Heathrow claimed they were not given enough information as 67 departures were grounded and 33 arrivals cancelled.

Tempers frayed in Terminal 5, with accusations of queue-jumping in the lengthy lines. Steve Greenwood, from Yorkshire, who was travelling to Seoul with his wife, shouted at a group of passengers, saying they “just push in where they want”.

Mr Greenwood was one of a number of passengers hitting out at British Airways, adding: “BA stands for bloody awful.”

BA and the airport insisted they were doing everything they could in difficult circumstances.

Travellers at regional airports including Leeds Bradford, Humberside and Newcastle were also frustrated by delays and disruption caused by the wintry weather.

Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester Airports were running normally but advised passengers to check with their airlines.

Road and rail misery

Train passengers did not fare much better, with reduced services across the country. Virgin Trains cancelled a number of services from the capital to Birmingham and Manchester and others were delayed.

The freezing temperatures also prompted road groups to issue warnings. Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we’re likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend.
“Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems.”

The RAC said it had dealt with nearly 9,000 breakdowns – 10 per cent more than usual. Spokesman Simon Williams said: “Large numbers of people undoubtedly decided not to drive yesterday, which meant we coped very well, particularly as we had so many patrols on duty.

“On the whole we managed to get to people very quickly despite the conditions, but there were obviously some extreme cases in urban areas due to traffic congestion.

“We attended double the amount of accidents that we would do normally.

“Today the roads are still treacherous so anyone deciding to travel on them should do so with caution and adjust their driving to the conditions accordingly.”

Arctic blasts

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice over much of the country – and a red, severe warning for South Wales which experienced the worst of the weather.

The Arctic blasts forced nearly 2,000 schools to shut their doors, meaning some sixth-form and college students had their A-level exams postponed.
But the weather heaped misery on more than 10,000 households in South Wales, where residents found themselves with no power yesterday morning.

Seven passengers were taken to hospital after a double-decker bus collided with two cars and ploughed into a garden, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said.

Two people in one of the cars were also treated for chest pains following the crash on the A165 in Coniston, near Hull, where several inches of snow has fallen.

Nearby, a man is believed to have suffered an electric shock after tripping over a power cable which was hidden by snow, Humberside Fire and Rescue service said.

He was taken to hospital for checks after stumbling on the 110- volt wire from a main generator on an industrial site in the Preston area of Hull yesterday afternoon.

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