Travel warnings after heavy snow brings treacherous conditions to UK

Heavy snow has brought treacherous conditions with drivers left stranded for hours and people urged to only travel if absolutely necessary.

The Met Office has yellow warnings for ice covering large swathes of the UK after Storm Larisa battered parts of the UK with gales and blizzards.

A warning for snow remains in place for much of Scotland, with another snow and ice warning issued for northern England on Saturday.

(PA Graphics)

A low of minus 13.6C was recorded at Altnaharra in Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands overnight, while the greatest depth of snow recorded was 27cm at Capel Curig in North Wales.

Heavy snowfall left drivers stranded for more than seven hours on the M62 in Greater Manchester and Yorkshire.

National Highways North West estimated that at one point congestion on the eastbound carriageway between Rochdale and Saddleworth stretched to around eight miles.

Emergency services have also rescued eight people who were trapped in heavy snowfall for more than 12 hours in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Police said “artic conditions” since Thursday night caused a number of vehicles to get stuck – particularly on the A53 and the A523 near the town of Leek.

It said some people have been stranded inside their vehicles in sub-zero temperatures for more than 12 hours.

On Friday afternoon, it said a total of eight people in five vehicles had been rescued, with no serious injuries reported.

Andrew Page-Dove, of National Highways, said weather conditions will deteriorate on Friday night.

He said: “We’ve got some very cold weather overnight. We’ve got the risk of potentially freezing rain and then more snow tomorrow.

“So the conditions are actually going to get worse rather than better.

“But we will be continuously out there treating the roads and our intention is to keep the M62 open.

“We have well-rehearsed plans which we execute every time we have these types of events.

“It is purely the combination of volume of traffic and (drivers) maybe not being as well prepared for the conditions.”

Public transport has also been affected, with Network Rail saying multiple fallen trees had blocked lines between Manchester and Sheffield, meaning no trains could run.

(PA Graphics)

Train operators TransPennine Express and Northern were affected, with many services cancelled, and Merseyrail, which runs services in Merseyside and surrounding areas, delayed the start of its operations on Friday.

Air travel was also affected, with the majority of flights departing Liverpool John Lennon Airport delayed on Friday morning.

East Midlands Airport was closed for around three hours and flights were suspended at Birmingham Airport for around an hour to clear snow from the runway, and there were also delays to flights at Bristol Airport.

Elsewhere, firefighters were called to a partial roof collapse at a flat in Longford Walk, Tulse Hill, south London.

Spring weather Mar 10th 2023
The scene in Tulse Hill (London Fire Brigade/PA)

London Fire Brigade said the aluminium roof of a three-storey block of flats had peeled off in high winds and was in a precarious position.

There were no reports of any injuries.

People in the south of England were likely to experience the worst of any rain.

The weather is expected to clear by the end of Friday before being replaced by another low pressure system.