UK weather: Snow and ice warnings remain as thaw begins

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Media captionHow farmers are coping with the snow

Icy roads and snow are continuing to cause disruption in parts of the the UK but forecasters say temperatures in many areas are starting to rise.

Warnings of snowfall remain in Scotland and ice warnings are in place for the whole of England and Northern Ireland.

Many rail services are still affected, while 16 flood warnings remain in place in south-west and north-east England.

UK weather: Snow and ice warnings remain as thaw begins
UK weather: Snow and ice warnings remain as thaw begins

Some rural communities in south-west England had been cut off by snow but most can now be reached.

In Devon the villages of Lynmouth and Lynton had their water supply cut off, and roads into the village were impassable due to snow drift but emergency routes have been opened.

The road to Holne on Dartmoor remains blocked.

The Met Office currently has two active yellow warnings in place, covering large areas of the UK.

One, warning of snow, is in place for much of the day across a large area of eastern Scotland.

Snow showers are expected to continue, the warning says, and there could be icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

A second warning for ice covers all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is due to lapse at 11:00 GMT.

However, temperatures are rising across England, with highs of 9C expected in Plymouth.

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Image caption Freezing temperatures were felt in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

The majority of flood warnings are in coastal parts of south-west and north-east England and are because of high tides, rather than thawing snow.

But in Devon there is a lower-scale flood alert – meaning flooding is possible, rather than expected – on the rivers Clyst and Culm due to snow melt.

The Environment Agency has warned of a potential surge in water levels.

On Saturday the Dawlish rail line, also in Devon, was closed as a result of flooding, but was later reopened.

Image copyrightEPA
Image caption The severe weather has affected dozens of train lines

Meteorologists say temperatures in parts of England could rise to 9C later, following days of sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall.

Met Office forecaster Becky Mitchell said there would be a reduced risk of snow across much of southern England and Wales.

“The main point is it’s gradually turning milder so we are seeing an end to widespread cold conditions from this weekend onwards.”

What is happening with the trains?

National Rail has been advising passengers to check their service before travelling while many operators are running to a reduced timetable.

  • The Virgin Trains East Coast line will run a normal Sunday timetable with some alterations
  • There will be no service on Virgin’s West Coast route between Carlisle and Scotland on Sunday but replacement bus services will be running
  • Arriva Train Wales said trains continue to be “severely impacted with extensive cancellations”
  • Certain Great Western Railway services have been suspended including routes between Portsmouth and Brighton and Westbury and Swindon
  • On the Northern network, the Leeds to Carlisle/Lancaster route will be suspended until Monday
  • ScotRail plans to run a “near normal service” with some “minor alterations”
  • CrossCountry will run its timetabled service except for four routes including the Edinburgh to Birmingham line

On Saturday, Network Rail urged people in the north-east of England and the East Midlands to only travel if “absolutely necessary”.

Virgin Trains East Coast also resumed services between Newcastle and Scotland but advised customers not to travel unless it was essential.

Great Western Railway advised passengers not to travel unless the journey is “unavoidable” while most rail companies urged people to check before travelling.

Meanwhile, an independent investigation will be launched after passengers stuck on four stranded Southeastern trains in Lewisham, south London, “forced open” the carriage doors and walked along the tracks.

Image copyrightPA
Image caption People have been helping to clear grounds of schools in Scotland

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Scotland is still recovering from the so-called Beast from the East

Some roads, such as the A66 in Cumbria and County Durham, remain closed as authorities work to clear snow, but other transport services are starting to get back to normal.

A plan is being put together for a clean-up operation after Holyhead Marina, in Angelsey, north Wales, was battered by Storm Emma.

The weather conditions over the past few days damaged a large number of vessels berthed in the marina.

In Scotland, government ministers have asked for volunteers to help in clearing up local roads and pavements, and checking on vulnerable people.

Airports are beginning to reopen and train routes resume, but some operators have warned of reduced or altered timetables.

How are the airports affected?

Image copyrightPA

Many airports have now reopened and flights are resuming but some issues still remain and passengers are being advised to check with their airlines.

  • Glasgow Airport: The airport is open after “the worst snowfall in its history” but there are “some delays”
  • Cardiff Airport: There will be a knock-on impact on flights as a result of the weather
  • Bristol Airport: The airport is operational however flights could be disrupted. Snow in the airport car park means travellers could face longer queues

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