Ice threat follows weekend of heavy snowfall

COMMUTERS were braced for more travel disruption this morning with freezing conditions expected following a weekend of heavy snowfall.

Councils promised that gritters would be out in force as last night much of England remained under a cold weather alert of level 3, which warns of “100 per cent probability” of severe cold weather and icy conditions.

The weather wreaked havoc at Britain’s busiest airport, with more half the flights at Heathrow axed, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded, while almost 400 passengers bound for London spent the night in Ireland after transatlantic flights were grounded there.

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In Yorkshire up to six inches (15cm) of snow fell, some of the heaviest in Church Fenton, North Yorkshire, as freezing conditions gripped the region, contributing to more than 60 accidents on the county’s roads.

Drivers had to abandon their vehicles as many routes, including the trans-Pennine Snake and Woodhead passes, were closed altogether.

A Leeds Council spokesman said main roads were passable and gritting crews were attempting to get to as many secondary roads as possible. He said gritters had been out five times since Friday afternoon and put down an estimated 1,500 tonnes of grit.

In Sheffield, a council spokesman said 402km of top-priority main roads were “passable with care”. Gritting works continued on a further 757km of “priority two” roads, with workers continuing “throughout the day and night to free up these secondary roads”.

Passengers trying to fly from Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport were also faced with long delays yesterday after it was closed to clear snow from the runway.