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9:31am UK, Friday February 10, 2012
Commuters face treacherous conditions this morning after fresh snow fell across much of Britain, adding to the danger of ice on the roads.
The Met Office has issued a “yellow” weather warning for ice and snow across the country, with drivers warned to take extreme care because of sleet in some areas.
Up to 4in (10cm) of snow fell in some parts of the UK overnight, and forecasters predict the bitter conditions will continue for the next few days.
However, Sky News weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said the snow from last night will clear westwards today.
“The overnight snow will peter out and clear west as rain over Wales and the south west, so the rest of today will be drier and brighter but very cold over central and eastern England.
“Cloudier further north and west for Scotland and Ireland with patchy rain, perhaps a little light snow mixed in over the hills of Wales.”
With black ice a major concern for the rush hour, there appears little likelihood of a thaw until at least next week – with some disruption to half-term travel plans expected.
Heathrow Airport has advised passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling after snow fell there overnight.
However, it has not yet issued new warnings about flight delays after cancellations last weekend.
But the snow and ice has already led to a string of road crashes, with lorries jack-knifing and pile-ups on major roads.
Police in Cumbria dealt with almost 100 crashes on Thursday and there were several smashes on the A66.
One man was taken to hospital after being knocked over a barrier on the Blaydon Highway flyover in Tyneside after several vehicles collided in the ice. His condition was said to be stable.
A spokesman for Cumbria County Council has warned road conditions there are due to remain hazardous for the next 24 hours, describing the freezing rain as a “perfect storm”.
The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said train companies were gearing up to deal with the bad weather.
Network Rail has been running empty ‘ghost’ trains and de-icer units to keep tracks and overhead cables free of snow and ice as far as possible.