More travel delays expected with UK cold snap set to continue | Weather United Kingdom
Further disruption to travel is expected this week with temperatures expected to remain well below zero overnight and up to 10cm of snow forecast in south east England.
Met Office yellow warnings were in place from Sunday to Monday morning for North and South West Scotland, Northern Ireland, North East England, Midlands and South West as well than London and the South East.
Rail travelers in South West England were told to expect delays, revisions and cancellations on Monday, after rail operator South Western canceled many services on Sunday due to freezing conditions.
In Kent, the line between Dover and Minster via Deal was closed on Sunday after ice prevented trains from receiving electricity from conductor rail, which powers locomotives. The same issue caused major disruption on the line from Lewes and Seaford to Eastbourne and Hastings in Sussex, operator Southern said.
Cornwall residents have been advised not to travel on Sundays or Mondays due to inclement weather. The Cornwall Fire and Rescue Services control center dealt with more than 300 ice-related road accident reports over the weekend and the County Council’s highways contractor was working around the clock 24 to salt the main roads.
As temperatures in the county are expected to drop to -7C overnight on Sunday, residents have been urged to avoid travel unless essential and parents and caregivers have been warned that schools may be closed.
At least 30 flights from Heathrow were canceled on Sunday morning as freezing fog blanketed London – with snow and ice likely to cause further problems for travelers during Monday’s rush hour.
Snow in Sheffield has added to the misery of hundreds of people in the Stannington area, who have been without gas since December 2 after water flooded gas lines.
Heavy snowfall in the Midlands led to the cancellation of sporting and festive events, including the victorian christmas market in Stratford-upon-Avon. Emergency services were called to Solihull, where police said a number of people were in critical condition after being pulled from a lake in freezing temperatures.
The Met Office has warned the cold weather will continue.
Meteorologist Rachel Ayers said: ‘We could see 2cm to 5cm (of snow), possibly up to 10cm in some places, with Kent and Sussex being the most affected, the most exposed areas such as North and South Downs and higher ground will see the most accumulations.
“There will be ice forming, particularly near the coast where there is rain and sleet and freezing temperatures, which could disrupt travel from Monday, valid until 9 a.m. morning.”
Ayers said while cold temperatures, freezing fog and wintry showers are expected throughout the week, cloud cover could prevent some of the most extreme temperatures in recent days.
She added that it was possible that slightly milder conditions could arrive next weekend, but it was too early to be sure.
The harsh conditions disrupted travel on Saturday, with Manchester Airport temporarily closing both runways due to heavy snowfall.
The Met Office said the conditions could lead to more travel problems, particularly on Monday morning, and a small chance of some rural communities being cut off as well as the possibility of power cuts and affected mobile phone coverage.
Elsewhere, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) sent a level 3 cold weather alert covering England until Friday, after extending the alert from Monday.
The agency advises people to be mindful of friends and family vulnerable to the cold and to ensure they have access to hot food and drink, adding that people should maintain indoor temperatures of at least 18 °C (64.4°F).
Dr Agostinho de Sousa, consultant in public health medicine at UKHSA, said: “Cold weather can have serious health consequences, and the elderly and those with heart or lung conditions may be particularly at risk. .”
The AA advised motorists to adapt their driving in light of the freezing conditions.
Sean Sidley, AA Patrol of the Year, said: “On a freezing morning, hazards like ice can be deadly if you don’t adjust your speed and riding style in cold weather.
“Always leave plenty of space behind other vehicles as stopping distances can be 10 times longer on icy roads.
The recent cold snap led to the triggering of the £25 cold weather payment to those on the lowest incomes in hundreds of affected postcode districts in England and Wales.
Government payments are made to eligible households in areas where the average temperature has been recorded or forecast at 0°C or lower for seven consecutive days.