UK will continue to freeze in the coming week, with another heavy fall set to hit London and the South-East tomorrow. With travel chaos across the country and Britain’s busiest airport being likened to a “refugee camp” amid more than 110 cancelled flights, forecasters predicted further misery in the coming days. Following Friday’s deluge of snow, much of today’s snowfall was limited to the North East of England and the east of Scotland. But tomorrow a blanket of snow is expected to fall across more of the nation, hitting London and the South-East first before moving north.
Laura Caldwell, of MeteoGroup, said: “There will be a few snow showers but heavier snow moving into the south of England and spreading into the Midlands, north east Wales, East Anglia and central England. “There will be a quite significant accumulation and it will be seen first in London and the South-East before moving north later in the day.” Freezing temperatures which have chilled the UK for the past week will also combine, with more snow in northern England as next week begins, Ms Caldwell added. “It is not going to be getting warmer any time soon,” she said.
Today, London’s Heathrow airport saw angry scenes as travellers slept on the floor for a second day after flights continued to be hit by the weather. Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent, painted a bleak picture, saying the scene was like “a refugee camp”. Frustrated passengers claimed they were not given enough information about what was happening. Tempers frayed in Terminal 5, with accusations of queue-jumping in the lengthy lines at check-in desks. Steve Greenwood, from Yorkshire, who was travelling to Seoul with his wife, shouted at a group of passengers, saying they “just push in where they want”.
Mr Greenwood was one of a number of passengers hitting out at British Airways, adding: “BA stands for bloody awful.” There will be a reduced flight schedule tomorrow with an estimated 260 cancellations. BA and the airport insisted they were doing everything they could in difficult circumstances.
Travellers at regional airports including Leeds Bradford, Humberside and Newcastle were also frustrated by delays and disruption caused by the wintry weather. Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester airports were running normally but advised passengers to check with their airlines.
Train passengers did not fare much better, with reduced services across the country.
Virgin Trains cancelled a number of services from the capital to Birmingham and Manchester, and others were delayed.
The freezing temperatures also prompted motoring organisations to issue warnings. Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “With the snow compacting down and turning icy, we’re likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend. “Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems.” The RAC said it had dealt with nearly 9,000 breakdowns – 10% more than usual.
Spokesman Simon Williams said: “Large numbers of people undoubtedly decided not to drive yesterday, which meant we coped very well, particularly as we had so many patrols on duty. “On the whole we managed to get to people very quickly despite the conditions, but there were obviously some extreme cases in urban areas due to traffic congestion. “We attended double the amount of accidents that we would do normally. “Today the roads are still treacherous, so anyone deciding to travel on them should do so with caution and adjust their driving to the conditions accordingly.”
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for ice over much of the country – and a red, severe warning for South Wales which experienced the worst of the weather. Seven passengers were taken to hospital after a double-decker bus collided with two cars and ploughed into a garden, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said.