Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Winter weather wreaks fresh UK travel havoc

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Families take to the hills with sledges near Edale in Derbyshire, northern England on December 10, 2017. Heavy snow fell across northern and central parts of England and Wales and caused disruption, closing roads and grounding flights at Birmingham airport. Up to 10cm is expected to build up quite widely, with 15-20cm in some spots, raising the prospect of roads becoming impassable. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey Parnaby

Heavy snow caused travel disruption to airports and roads in parts of Britain on Friday, as the country again grappled with the impact of wintry weather.

Glasgow Airport briefly suspended operations around 9 am (0900 GMT) after heavy snowfall, before reopening less than an hour later.

Some flights were diverted to Edinburgh and the airport advised passengers to check with their airlines, as knock-on delays were expected.

By 10 am around 10 centimetres (four inches) of snow had accumulated in less than two hours at a measuring station near Glasgow, according to the Met Office, Britain’s weather service.

That was among the highest totals nationwide Friday morning, a spokeswoman said.

Scotland, Wales and the northern Midlands in England were the worst-hit areas, she added.

The Met Office had earlier issued a “be aware” warning across central and southern Scotland, following one of the coldest nights of the year.

Temperatures dropped to minus 12.3 degrees Celsius (9.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at Loch Glascarnoch in the Scottish Highlands overnight, it reported.

Highways England, which oversees major English roads, issued its own severe weather warning, advising drivers to ensure they are adequately prepared with extra fuel, warm clothing, blankets, food and water.

Police in Scotland also urged people to plan their journeys appropriately.

The Automobile Association (AA) said it had received more than 1,687 breakdown calls before 10 am Friday, with 10 cases of vehicles being stuck in snow.

It added the worst areas on the roads in England were around Manchester and the Cumbria region, with several closures.

Meanwhile in Scotland several major routes had been badly affected by the snow, with white-out conditions reported in Dumfries, Galloway and Ayrshire, local media said.

The adverse weather is the latest to hit Britain this month, after several previous rounds of snow and storms shut runways, stranded motorists and caused power outages.

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