UK Weather Forecast Prompts Travel Warnings Amid Disruption Across Britain

Snow and ice on Devon's A30 sees drivers forced to shelter in school.

Commuters faced major disruption on Monday morning, after officials warned against travel in parts of England as frosty weather conditions caused chaos.

Drivers across Britain faced potential snow and ice hazards as a wintry snap dubbed the “mini beast from the east” continued to cause disruption.

Official alerts have been issued in the south-west of England after more than 80 people spent the night at a school as heavy snow shut a 64-mile stretch of the A30 in Devon.

Travel disruption hit the A30 in the south west of England after 80 people were forced to spend a night in a school.
Travel disruption hit the A30 in the south west of England after 80 people were forced to spend a night in a school.
Snowploughs on the A30 near, Okehampton in Devon, which was hit by 'significant snow' overnight.
Snowploughs on the A30 near, Okehampton in Devon, which was hit by 'significant snow' overnight.
Martin Keene/PA

The Met Office said: “Monday morning’s rush hour could be an icy one for many places, with lying snow possibly adding to the problems. If you have to travel, allow plenty of time, take it steady”.

On Monday morning:

  • The A4142 Eastern Bypass Road in Oxford remained closed after an accident involving a lorry;
  • The M62 between junction 22 and 24 saw delays and a build up of traffic in both directions - with a reported average speed of just 10mph;
  • The A420 was closed both ways between Bath Road, Bath, Wilts, and the A46 at Cold Ashton Roundabout;
  • The A350 to Warminster, Wilts, from the A303 was closed for snow clearance;
  • The B3212 was closed both ways between B3357 Tavistock Road and Burrator Road near Dartmoor, Devon;
  • In London, the Underground reported delays on the Jubilee and Piccadilly Lines;
  • And airports, including Gatwick, reported widespread delays and cancellations due to ice.

A yellow warning for ice remains in place across England and Wales until 10am.

Devon and Cornwall Police stressed that motorists should not try and travel on the A30 across the counties as conditions were “changing rapidly from passable to impossible”.

The force tweeted: ”#A30 #DevonandCornwall closed, significant snow that highways are working to clear, if you’re already on it drive with caution as conditions are variable changing rapidly from passable to impossible, if not on it DELAY YOUR JOURNEY until midmorning at the earliest”

Motorists were left stranded on the busy route after snow and ice made driving conditions treacherous.

The Highways Agency tweeted to say the road had been closed in both directions between the M5 J31 and at the A38 in Bodmin due to the severe weather conditions.

A network operations manager for Highways England’s South West centre said all stranded traffic had been released but further snow was expected and advised motorists to delay their journey.

And Devon County Council confirmed the closure of dozens of schools on Monday and described roads as “treacherous”, while train services are also affected.

Meanwhile major airports reported delays and cancellations affecting hundreds of passengers.

London Gatwick said on Twitter that “essential de-icing requirements” mounted during the evening on Sunday leading to last-minute delays and cancellations.

Forecasters painted a better picture for the rest of the day, with drier and brighter weather on the horizon for much of the country, but warned it will still feel particularly cold due to the wind chill.

Meteorologist John West said: “Through the course of the day today, much of the country will experience a fine and dry day. We’re sort of closing the door to the the cold easterly flow and temperatures will be less cold than we’ve seen over the weekend.

“We could see highs of 5C (41F) or 6C (43F) but add some wind chill on there and it won’t feel very pleasant at all.

“However there will be some decent, fine weather, plenty of sunshine around today, particularly in northern parts, and a bit of an improvement from what we’ve seen over the weekend.”

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