Snow causes disruption in UK

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Snow in Birmingham.
Image: Daniel Morris.

Heavy snow has caused disruption in the United Kingdom with airports and schools closed and delays on the road network.

Snowfall was highest near Worcester with 9cms of snow falling. The snow has caused hundreds of school closures and major disruption to airports with Birmingham, London Gatwick and City, Bristol and Cardiff runways closing although these have now re-opened. However the runways at Luton and Stanstead remain closed due to the bad weather.

The road network has also been affected with some snow settling and accidents occurring causing major congestion in some areas, although gritting by the Highways Agency and local authorities has limited the effect on trunk roads and motorways.

Schools were closed in Birmingham, Solihull and Dudley, while some remained open in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, East Anglia and Wales, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Drivers are being warned that driving conditions will continue to be adverse and are being advised only to travel if absolutely necessary.

Train services by Midland Mainline and Virgin as well as the London Underground are affected, with delays, reduced services and cancellations.

The overall economic effect of the snow is predicted to cost the British economy approximately £400 million due to loss of work hours.

There has also been loss of power in some areas of Wales including Abergaveny, Llandeilo and Blaenporth.

The snow fall is expected to continue into the evening but may turn to sleet in some areas. Also cold temperature tonight will mean that there is a high chance of ice forming on the road network. Up to 15 cm of snow is expected through the day in some hilly areas but wetter and milder weather is expected over the weekend.