At least 586 schools have been closed in the south east due to the weather.
Here is a breakdown within the region:
Berks: at least 5 in West Berkshire, but no clear info about the rest of the county
East Sussex: 23
Isle of Wight: 0
West Sussex: 3
Luton airport says it is open for business and its runway is in use but the weather is still affecting some flights.
Commuters in London worrying about getting home may find that it is not the bad weather hampering their journey.
What we know so far
- Snow and ice continues to cause widespread disruption across the UK. Dozens of rail services have been hit, including a temporary suspension on the Gatwick Express, delays on the Eurostar to and from London, and at least 20 cancellations on rail services in Scotland.
- Almost 3,000 schools have been forced to closed including more than 500 in the east of England, more than 200 each in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and around 400 in Birmingham. Some parents have complained that schools were shut in areas where there was little or no snow.
- Thousands of people were left without power overnight. Western Power Distribution said engineers worked through the night to restore power to 99,500 homes in the Midlands, south Wales and the south-west, but that 7,000 customers were still without electricity, 6,500 of them in the West Midlands. Around 800 homes were also without power in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.
- Up to 200 flights from Heathrow are expected to cancelled as passengers complained of waiting hours for travel to be rescheduled.
- The Met Office has extended its yellow weather warnings for snow and ice to cover vast swaths of the country, including London and the south-east, much of the Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the eastern coast of England and northern and western Scotland.
- Sunday was the coldest day for seven years with temperatures dipping to -12C in some places. Monday night could be even colder with temperatures forecast to fall as low as -15C.
at 3.15pm GMT
The TUC called on employers not to force staff to make hazardous journeys into work, saying firms in areas of the country affected by the snowy conditions should have put out advice to their staff on what they should do when snow, ice and a lack of public transport prevents them getting to work.
Policies should also cover what parents should do if schools close and they have no alternative childcare, said the TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, adding: “It is essential that employers don’t force staff to make dangerous journeys for the sake of presenteeism.
“For many employees the bad weather will have made their commute virtually impossible, but thankfully many bosses now have ‘bad weather’ policies so staff know what is expected of them.”
The TUC also reminded employers to keep their workplaces safe and warm – at least 16°C.
at 3.09pm GMT
More 1,300 schools have been forced to close in the West Midlands, writes Will Tilbrook. They include:
- 200 in Worcestershire
- 94 in Herefordshire:
- 157 in Shropshire
- 309 in Staffordshire
- 215 in Warwickshire
- Around 400 schools in Birmingham including all 270 of the council-run schools and the majority of the remaining 175 run by academies.
At least 131 schools in Wales were also shut including 71 in Flintshire, 11 in Wrexham and 49 in Denbighshire. And another 60 were closed in the London borough of Barnet.
By our incomplete tally at least 2,700 schools were closed today.
at 2.40pm GMT
Some parents have been grumbling about schools closing in areas where there has been little or no snow.
Dozens of flights have been cancelled at Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, PA reports.
Heathrow said it was operating three-quarters of its full schedule as airlines dealt with the knock-on effects of Sunday’s heavy snowfall, which turned to ice overnight as temperatures plummeted.
Passengers shared images on social media of long queues and scores of suitcases lined up , while others complained of a lack of information from the airport and airlines.
Among them was Beth Kanter, a non-profit and charities consultant from San Francisco, who said the British Airways flight she boarded was cancelled on Sunday after six hours on the tarmac.
She said she was told on the aircraft that the weather was “an act of god” and that the airline could not pay for a hotel as a result.
She said: “[They were] saying they were waiting for de-ice. Then, they cancelled our flight. Then it took me four hours to get through the immigration line. On the plane, the pilot said we would be able to collect our baggage in baggage reclaim. That was the ‘good news’.
“Then, after standing in line and finally making it through immigration, the baggage area was total chaos. There was baggage on the baggage claims but none of the signs indicated what the flights were.
“There was a huge long line – it must have several hundred people in it – stretching from baggage claim number three to the last one where customer service was. There was one person there.
“Then I noticed a man with a BA sweatshirt come out of a back office with a paper with the list of flights and baggage claim numbers – this was after being in baggage claim for hours, trying to figure out what the hell to do.”
The consultant, whose luggage “filled with holiday gifts” was lost in the chaos, said she asked for information on her flight which was “not on his list”, but eventually received a rebooking for Monday.
“They announced that everyone should go home and come back tomorrow to deal with their bags … people were really pissed off and it was stressful,” she added.
The 60-year-old said she filed a report on the BA website, and managed to book a hotel 30 minutes from the airport as she “did not want to spend the night” at Heathrow.
She added that no one at the airline was answering the phones and described their website as useless and said customer service on was lame.
Fellow American Kenton Keithly, 65, had expected to fly from Newcastle to Heathrow and then to San Francisco on Monday but the connecting flight to the London airport was cancelled on Sunday night. He had to rebook to fly on Tuesday with his partner.
Keithly, of Woodland, California, said both the airport and airline had not learned from similar circumstances in 2010, when he had to spend a night on the floor of departures at Terminal Five.
He said: “I love flying BA, they are incredible in the air but lousy on the ground. Speaking with other passengers in the line last night, we all agreed that BA has learned nothing from seven years ago and Heathrow have failed to address the issue of having enough de-icers to cope with demand when needed.”
A Heathrow spokeswoman said: “Some flights at Heathrow are disrupted today.
However, the airport remains open and is operating three-quarters of scheduled flights.
“Before coming to the airport, passengers must check their flight status with their airline. If the status of your flight is cancelled, please do not travel to the airport, keep updated via the airline’s website. We apologise to those whose travel has been impacted and regret the inconveniences that have been caused.”
at 2.02pm GMT
The NHS has urged the public to check in on older neighbours amid the coldest snap for seven years.
A further 421 schools in the east Midlands were shut, Will Tilbrook reports.
at 3.08pm GMT
Source: The Guardian