Travel warnings as snow and ice hit UK

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Media captionWeather forecast: Snowy and icy conditions to persist

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 because of snow is in place in south-west England until the early hours of Monday morning.

Airports have been shut and several sporting events have been cancelled, including the Reading half-marathon, while some roads are impassable.

In Devon, scores of schools will be closed on Monday due to heavy snow.

BBC Weather’s Sarah Ransome says despite having gritters out relentlessly, the county is still covered in “a very heavy dump of snow”.

At least one hospital in Devon has been asking for volunteer drivers to help ferry staff to and from its facilities.

All Flybe services at Exeter Airport were cancelled and on Monday passengers are warned to expect disruption until mid-morning.

Bristol Airport was closed temporarily due to the snowfall while Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton remain mainly unaffected but have urged passengers to check flight information before travelling.

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Media captionPam Chapman, 70, worked extra hours before walking five miles home in a blizzard

Snow and ice have also led to road closures and vehicles being abandoned, with police warning motorists to avoid certain routes.

Two multi-vehicle crashes have caused long delays on the A30 around Okehampton and Whiddon Down in Devon.

A police officer tweeted from the A30, urging motorists to be cautious:

Overnight on Saturday, officers from Lincolnshire Police spent seven hours digging out 35 stranded vehicles after they became stuck in snow drifts on the A158 near Edlington.

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

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Motorists have been advised to “drive to the conditions”
Image caption A car crashed into a lamppost on Llantrisant Road near Radyr, Cardiff

Meanwhile, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and Great Northern Rail reported delays and cancellations.

Customers have been encouraged to check National Rail Enquiries before leaving home.

Among other transport 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.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Roads across the country have been badly affected by the cold weather

Elsewhere, the Anglo-Welsh Cup final was just one of a number of sporting events and fixtures postponed due to the weather.

The City of Lincoln 10km and Shrewsbury 10km run were called off, as were half-marathons in Wigan and Wilmslow.

However, about 100 runners held their own unofficial half-marathon in Reading, despite the snow.

There was no horse racing in Britain as both Carlisle and Ffos Las abandoned events due to the weather.

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

The surrounding areas of Pride Park were 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 also 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.

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

Image caption A car in Queensbury, West Yorkshire, sits under a blanket of snow

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Media captionBBC Weather explains why temperatures are plummeting… again

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Media captionNo paws in the snow?
Image copyright Met Office
Image caption Met Office weather warnings are in place for Sunday

An amber weather warning remains in force for south-west England overnight with 5-10 cm of snow forecast to fall within a few hours.

But Dartmoor could see as much as 20-30cm, the Met Office said.

Yellow “be aware” warnings for ice also affect much of England and Wales, central and south-west Scotland until Monday morning.

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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