Army called in as 1,000 vehicles stranded in UK

The British military was called in last night after up to 1,000 vehicles became stranded when snow blocked a motorway.

The British military was called in last night after up to 1,000 vehicles became stranded when snow blocked a motorway.

Police working with Armed Forces and fire service personnel used military trucks and Land Rovers to access motorists who were caught in a 10-mile jam on the A3(M) trunk road at Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Many of those stuck were evacuated to rescue centres while others remained in their vehicles overnight.

Hampshire Police spokeswoman Sarah Julian said: “Between 600 and 1,000 vehicles were caught up in eight- to 10-mile tailbacks with many owners remaining with their vehicles for several hours.

“Police have been patrolling this route with military and fire service personnel in order to provide reassurance and offer them the option of being evacuated to nearby rescue centres.”

She added that the police were looking at options for drivers to collect their abandoned vehicles.

Hampshire was among a number of Englands Home Counties affected by heavy snows overnight moving down from Scotland and the north.

Forecasters had predicted Hampshire, Oxfordshire, West Berkshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire would see “exceptionally heavy snowfall” as the blizzards moved south.

Gatwick Airport was forced to close overnight due to heavy snowfall, with flights at Luton, Birmingham and Southampton also being suspended.

This morning, Budget airline easyJet said it had cancelled more than 70 services, from airports including Gatwick, Bristol, Belfast, Newcastle and Luton.

A total of 34 flights from Gatwick have been scrapped, as well as 15 from Luton.

British Airways also warned of more flight disruption today.

“Customers are strongly advised to check the status of their flight before they leave for the airport,” the airline said.

Staff at Manchester and Liverpool Airports were working to return to normal after heavy snow forced them to close temporarily yesterday.

Road and train transport was also badly affected with many main routes forced to close.

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