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Snow and ice bring UK travel disruption


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Media captionBBC Weather’s Helen Willetts presents the weather forecast

Snow and ice are causing further disruption to road, rail and air travel in parts of the UK.

A Met Office amber warning of a possible risk to life is in place in south-west England, mid-Wales and the West Midlands all day.

Airports have been shut and several sporting events have been cancelled, including the Reading half-marathon.

Parts of the country face difficult driving conditions, with police warning against trans-Pennine routes.

The amber warning was updated after midday on Sunday to remove southeast Wales and parts of the West Country, where the snow is now easing.

Lincolnshire Police said up to 35 vehicles were stuck overnight in snow drifts on the A158 near Edlington.

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A car crashed into a lamppost on Llantrisant Road near Radyr, Cardiff

Officers spent seven hours digging and towing out all of the stranded vehicles on the stretch of road between Baumber and Horncastle.

Snowfall also caused the closure of Bristol airport on Sunday morning but it reopened at midday.

Other airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton, have urged passengers to check flight information before travelling.

Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and Great Northern Rail have all reported delays and cancellations. Customers are encouraged to check National Rail Enquiries before leaving home.

Among the disruption caused by snow and ice:

In Cumbria, mountain rescue teams were called to help 15 people stuck in a cafe near Kirkby Stephen, and an ambulance that could not reach patients in Langdale.

Cheshire Police warned there was “no route to safely cross the Pennines into Cheshire”. The A54, A537 Cat and Fiddle and B5470 were all closed or blocked by snow.

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Roads across the country have been badly affected by the cold weather

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Motorists have been advised to “drive to the conditions”

Among the sporting events affected by snow and ice, the City of Lincoln 10km and Shrewsbury 10km run were called off, as were half-marathons in Reading, Wigan and Wilmslow.

However, about 100 runners held their own half-marathon in Reading after the official event was called off.

There will be no horse racing in Britain on Sunday as both Carlisle and Ffos Las were forced to abandon events due to the weather.

And in football, Derby’s Championship match against Cardiff was postponed.

The surrounding areas of Pride Park have been left in an unsafe condition following heavy overnight snowfall, officials said.

In West Yorkshire, BBC Look North’s Sport Relief “Big 50 Sofa Challenge” was postponed.

Presenters of the regional TV news programme were due to push a red sofa 10 miles from Bradford to Haworth, but organisers called it off due to “treacherous” conditions.

Six Nations champions Ireland, meanwhile, cancelled their homecoming “due to heavy snowfall”.

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Media captionBBC Weather explains why temperatures are plummeting… again

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Media captionNo paws in the snow?

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Met Office

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Met Office weather warnings are in place for Sunday

The Met Office’s amber warning for parts of Wales and south-west England will remain in place until 21:00 GMT.

Parts of south-west England are likely to see 5-10cm of snowfall, with the possibility for 15-25cm of snow on higher ground, particularly in Dartmoor.

Yellow “be aware” warnings for snow and ice also affect much of England and Wales, central and south-west Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland until Sunday evening.

Temperatures in the Scottish Highlands could drop to as low as -8C later in the day and there is a significant risk of ice forming.

BBC Weather’s Billy Payne said: “Ice will form with the freezing of the damp surfaces where snow has been compacted underfoot, under the tyres or where there has been any melting during the day.”

Richard Leonard, Highways England’s head of road safety, said that while gritters would be treating the roads, it was “still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast”.

The wintry snap dubbed the “mini beast from the east” brought the heaviest snow showers on Saturday to north-east England and the North Midlands, as well as parts of southern England – including Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.

A cold spell nicknamed “the Beast from the East” saw much of the UK and Europe blanketed in snow at the start the month.

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