NEWS
27/02/2018 07:53 GMT | Updated 27/02/2018 15:13 GMT

UK Weather: Commuters Vent Anger After Scores Of Trains Cancelled Despite Low Snowfall

The #BeastFromTheEast is here.

Frustrated commuters struggling to travel on Tuesday have vented their anger at Greater Anglia for cancelling scores of trains, despite the seemingly light snowfall in Essex and Hertfordshire.

Pictures from Chelmsford this morning showed people crammed into the station building.

Greater Anglia was running a limited service, with less frequent and slower services between Norwich and Ipswich and cities such as London and Cambridge, and no trains between Norwich and Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Great Yarmouth, among others.

c2c is also operating a limited timetable today, adding to the congestion at stations.

Yesterday it was announced that more than 200 trains were being cancelled in the East of England due to the weather warnings. 

But this morning many resented the fact that their journeys were facing disruption, considering the relatively low snowfall.

Jonathan Denby, from Greater Anglia, defended the decision to cancel trains today.

He told the BBC: “The forecast was for very severe conditions. It is very cold and in some places it has been snowing. And what was important to do was working with Network Rail was to be clear what service we were pretty sure we could run regardless of the forecast conditions. 

“Therefore we felt it was important to give people confidence of what services we were going to be able to run.” 

Other parts of the country saw several inches of snowfall overnight, with 1cm in Kent by 5am, and between 3cm and 4cm in Newcastle and Northumberland.

Police forces reported treacherous driving conditions and blocked routes after roads became blanketed in snow.

Heavy showers were expected to continue throughout the morning and cripple much of the country’s travel network.

More than 200 schools across the country have been forced to close because of the weather.

The closures include:

  • Norfolk - 36
  • North Yorkshire - 29
  • Kent - 131
  • Essex - 14
  • East Sussex - 62

To see if your school is affected, check the Department for Education’s website.

Amber warnings for snow are in place for the South East and North East of England and the East Midlands until midday, while a yellow warning covering much of the country is in force until midnight.

PA Wire/PA Images
Newcastle Quayside following heavy overnight snowfall which has caused disruption across Britain.
PA Wire/PA Images
Newcastle Quayside following heavy overnight snowfall which has caused disruption across Britain.

Forecasters are predicting 5cm-10cm of snow will fall for most areas of the UK, with up to 40cm possible for higher grounds in Scotland.

An amber snow warning is in place for the North East of England and Scotland from 6am on Wednesday to 12pm on Thursday, with up to 40cm of snow expected to fall during that period.

Forecaster Frank Saunders said parts of the country could see their “coldest spell of weather since at least 2013, and possibly since 1991”.

How the transport networks are affected: 

Roads

Highways England has warned of hazardous driving conditions across much of the UK as snow began to settle overnight.

The A249 in Kent has been shut due to a crash, between junction 7 for the M20 and junction 5 for the M2, while the A1231 in the North East was blocked by an overturned lorry near the A182.

North Yorkshire Police said snow and ice was affecting most of the roads in the area, with roads around Harrogate and Craven particularly treacherous.

The A19 in North Yorkshire was closed after a crash.

North West Motorway Police reported that some lanes on motorways in the area were blocked due to the snow.

Trains

According to Network Rail, several train companies are reporting cancellations and alterations to services on Tuesday.

Southeastern, which operates in Kent, has cancelled dozens of trains, including several to London St Pancras, London Victoria and Cannon Street.

Greater Anglia is running a limited service.

Great Northern said fewer trains will be running between Kings Lynn and Cambridge during the morning peak, with services running hourly instead of half-hourly. Services between Kings Cross and Ely have been cancelled.

Southern will be running an hourly train service on the London Bridge to Uckfield line, with additional coaches, and a shuttle service between Redhill and Tonbridge.

TfL Rail will not start its trains until 7am on Tuesday, and only a limited service of six trains per hour will be in operation between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Flights

British Airways has cancelled dozens of flights from Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.

EasyJet said it is expecting disruption to some of its flights and has advised customers to check before they travel. 

East Midlands Airport said it was currently fully operational, but warned passengers to monitor updates throughout the day.

It is expected that the mercury could plummet to minus 15C by midweek where there is snow on the ground, rivalling temperatures forecast for parts of northern Norway and Iceland.

From Thursday, forecasters predict that another weather system, Storm Emma, will bring blizzards, gales and sleet as it meets the chilly “Beast from the East” later this week.

The storm, named by the Portuguese Met Service, will move north through Europe and is due to hit the UK on Thursday and Friday, and will be “significantly disruptive”, bringing the risk of power cuts and transport delays.