Heavy snow causes UK travel chaos

Britons endured more travel chaos today as snow blanketed much of the country, with airports shut, roads closed and train journeys cancelled.

Britons endured more travel chaos today as snow blanketed much of the country, with airports shut, roads closed and train journeys cancelled.

The runway at one of the biggest airports – Gatwick in West Sussex – remained closed this morning with more than 80 flights cancelled.

Bristol and Exeter were among other airports shut today, but the UK’s busiest airport – Heathrow in west London – was open, although there were delays and cancellations there.

Budget airline easyJet axed more than 70 flights and British Airways warned of flight disruption.

With the bad weather sweeping south overnight, many roads in the Home Counties were badly hit by snow.

The Highways Agency warned drivers to avoid the A3 and the A3(M) in Hampshire and Surrey. Hundreds of drivers were stuck on the A3 in Hampshire overnight.

Hampshire Police said today that an elderly man died after his car went out of control on an icy road in Titchfield last night.

Sections of a number of major roads were closed today, including the A628 in Derbyshire, the A616 in South Yorkshire, the M1 in South Yorkshire, the A66 in Cumbria, the A27 in Hampshire, the A3 in Surrey and the M40 in Oxfordshire.

Grit supplies have nearly run out in West Berkshire, where some areas have had more than 11in (28cm) of snow.

In north west London, Harrow Council said it had only 650 tonnes of salt left - enough for four days at the heaviest rate of spreading or more than a fortnight at a lighter rate.

Main line rail services were disrupted, too, with the South West Trains and the Southeastern companies both running reduced services.

There were also delays on London Overground services out of London’s Euston station and on Chiltern services to and from Stratford-upon-Avon.

London’s transport system, which was practically brought to its knees by the heavy snowfalls at the beginning of February 2009, was coping reasonably well.

But there were severe delays in the morning rush-hour on the Underground’s Northern and District lines, while the Central line was affected by a signal failure and there were minor delays on the Metropolitan line.

Some London buses had to take diverted routes.

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