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Sunday, February 5, 2012

By CHRISTOPHER LEAKE, RUSSELL MYERS and TED THORNHILL

Making tracks: A picturesque scene near the village of Shipbourne in Kent this morning

Dumps of over six inches of snow yesterday and throughout the night brought travel chaos to parts of Britain, with 100 vehicles stranded on the M40, huge tailbacks on the M25, hundreds of flights cancelled and severe disruption to train and Tube services.
With most of the UK on amber alert, the Met Office's second highest severe weather warning, a string of sporting fixtures were also hit by the big chill.
Flurries fell over Scotland, northern England and the Midlands yesterday before moving down to London and East Anglia.

Treacherous: Motorists make their along Winnats Pass, near Castleton, Derbyshire

Transformed: Snow covers a sign on the A217 near Epsom Downs in Surrey, left, while two walkers enjoy a picturesque Alexandra Park in London this morning, right

Winter wonderland: A man drags two sledges through the snow on the hill in Alexandra Park, north London this morning

Moo-ving sight: As snow begins to fall and temperatures plummet, cattle huddle together for shelter, near Buxton, Derbyshire

In a flap over the weather: Seagulls sit on a snowy railing next to the London Eye

The south experienced the worst travel misery with around 100 vehicles stuck on the M40 for several hours between junction four at High Wycombe and junction nine at Bicester. They only got moving again after snow ploughs came to the rescue.

Lifting the gloom: Trapped motorists on the M25 built a snowman between the lanes, left, while youngsters in London had a snowball fight last night, right

Motorists Katie Jones told BBC News: ‘We were stationary for about seven and a half hours. We passed cars abandoned in the side of the road, having crashed off. We passed lorries jack knifed across two, three lanes of the motorway and it's been impassable in large part.’
Bad weather also caused traffic to grind to a standstill on parts of the M25.
Tom Jones, who was stuck for more than seven hours in the gridlock, told the BBC there was a ‘nose-to-tail standstill’ on sections of the motorway in Hertfordshire as he tried to make his way home to Harrow in north-west London.
‘We joined the back of a tailback, never realising we would be spending the night on the motorway,’ he said.

‘Everybody has been in here for a lot longer than they expected.’

Mr Jones saw lorry drivers fall asleep in their cabs, having given up hope of getting out of the queue during the night.
He had to get out of his car at times to wake drivers up whenever the queue started morning.
Although Mr Jones was frustrated by the lack of information he had received from authorities, he conceded the Highways Agency was dealing with ‘some particularly special driving’.
Before the jam he saw many motorists were ‘hurtling’ along at unsafe speeds.

Oopsy daisy: Two women slip on the snow-covered roads on a night out in Camden, London, last night

Sign of the times: Snow gathers on a London underground tube sign in Bethnal Green, east London

Wheely slippy: Snow in Birmingham caused problems for some motorists

A plane waits at Heathrow yesterday. Airport bosses have cancelled a third of today's flights at Heathrow because of severe weather - nine hours before a flake of snow had even fallen

White city: People battle winds on a snowy Westminster Bridge in London, left, while flakes fall in front of Big Ben in Parliament Square at 7.20pm last night

Gridlock: Traffic comes to a standstill on the A50 trunk road through Stoke-On-Trent as vehicles struggle in heavy snow and people abandon their cars

Snow-go: This policeman is going no where in in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, left, after snow covers his squad car and right, the empty M6 motorway near Stoke-On-Trent

source: dailymail


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