Heavy overnight snow severely disrupted transport and air services in most part of Britain today including the capital, bringing normal life to a grinding halt.
Trains and flights have been disrupted in London and the South East, with more than 200 motorists forced to spend hours stranded in their cars in the worst affected areas.
Between 5cm to 15cm snowfall was recorded after flurries hit eastern England, particularly Essex and Kent, as forecasters warned that the snowfall would continue today.
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for the South East, North West, London and the East Midlands. A spokesman for Heathrow Airport this morning said the runways have been cleared through the night. “Heathrow is open for business as usual,” he said.
But its website warned of cancellations and delays due to the severe weather. A spokesman for Gatwick Airport said 16 incoming flights were diverted to other UK airports due to bad weather and three outgoing flights were cancelled.
“Flights are being diverted to Manchester, Birmingham and other airports as a result of the weather,” he said. Flights to and from Luton Airport have also been cancelled or diverted.
The Gatwick Airport spokesman said flights will not be able to take off until snow and ice is removed from the runway this morning. “The runway is not safe,” he said.
The Highway Agency said sections of the main motorways are closed this morning following accidents involving several vehicles on the northbound carriageway in Buckinghamshire and the southbound carriageway in Oxfordshire.
Essex Police said between 10pm last night and 5am this morning they attended more than 20 road collisions.
Blizzards caused more than 70 lorries to get stuck on motorway leading out of Harwich. Kent Police today urged motorists not to drive unless the trip was essential.