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Snow to cause rush-hour travel chaos across South East

Dartmoor ponies grazing on frozen grass on 7 January
Cold weather and snow are expected across much of the UK - Simon Maycock / Alamy Live News/Alamy

Snow and ice will cause rush hour travel disruption across the South East on Monday morning, the Met Office has warned.

The public were urged to take care in the cold conditions, with roads and train services likely to be affected across Greater London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Craig Snell, a forecaster at the Met Office, told The Telegraph on Sunday night: “We are expecting snow across the South East overnight and into tomorrow. The main risk will be icy patches for journeys to work tomorrow and there could be knock-on delays to roads and railways.”

He urged travellers to be extra vigilant outside,  “especially if walking on foot to work tomorrow be careful as it could be slippery under foot”. “That remains the way for the rest of the week,” he said.

It comes after authorities issued an amber cold weather health alert to last until Friday.

The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office issued the alert for the north-west of England, the West Midlands, East Midlands and the south-west of England until midday on January 12.

An amber alert means “cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time”.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, said: “With the Met Office forecasting drops in temperature across the United Kingdom into next week, it is important to check in on the wellbeing of those most vulnerable to the cold.”

A yellow cold health alert, one level below amber, remains in place for the north-east of England, Yorkshire and The Humber, the East of England, the south-east of England and London.

Sunak visits flood victims

Earlier on Sunday, the Prime Minister met residents affected by flooding in Oxford. Rishi Sunak spoke to people on their doorsteps before visiting Environment Agency workers at their depot on Osney Island.

Mr Sunak said: “Flooding has been having a devastating impact on communities up and down the country.

“I was in the East Midlands last week on Thursday and I’m in Oxfordshire here today talking to some of those that have been affected, but also saying thank you to our first responders who were doing a fantastic job over the past week.”

Mr Sunak said there were over 1,000 Environment Agency personnel on the ground in local communities helping with the flooding, with over 200 pumps deployed.

“We’ve invested £5.2 billion in flood defences over the period in question - that’s a record sum, far more than we’ve done, in the future that’s contributed to protecting over 300,000 homes,” he said.

“And of course, there have been many people affected by what’s happened over the past week, but also over 49,000 have been affected by flooding.”

After being shown pumps and barriers working to get rid of water from the still-flooded River Thames in Osney, Mr Sunak spoke with Environment Agency staff.

Houses have historically been severely damaged by floods in the area, but there has reportedly been less devastation this time.

Mr Sunak said: “Just walking around talking to residents, everyone’s been very complimentary about the response, just as I’ve been walking around talking to people, people have been at pains to say they felt the engagement has been great and actually what has been happening has made a difference.”

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