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UK temperatures plunge to -12C as snow disrupts travel – BBC News

  • By James Gregory, Louisa Pilbeam & Harrison Jones
  • BBC News

Image caption,

Roads have been treacherous for drivers in Cumbria

Temperatures have fallen below freezing in parts of the UK, with 15cm of snow causing serious travel disruption.

Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice are in effect for the north west of England, the Midlands, the south, and parts of Wales and Scotland.

Drivers in Cumbria told the BBC they had been in stop-start traffic with no food or water for up to 19 hours.

Meanwhile, the mercury has dropped to -12C (10.4F) in Scotland.

A “major incident” has been declared in Cumbria after heavy snowfall, with police urging people not to travel on Sunday unless necessary.

Ant Brett, from Essex, travelled to Cumbria for a family wedding but the conditions meant he was travelling for 19 hours and never made it.

He ran out of food and water and said emergency services or other organisations had not delivered supplies to the cars where he was stranded.

“I’ve been stuck since 4pm on Saturday,” he told the BBC while waiting on the A595.

Image source, Jason Haine

Image caption,

Thick blankets of snow covered cars and streets making roads almost impassable

Image source, Danny Lawson

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Freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow greeted ramblers at the North York Moors National Park

Image source, Lucy Maeder

Image caption,

Cars littered the road from Kendal to Windermere, in Cumbria, on Saturday

“I was heading up to a family wedding – it’s fair to say I didn’t make it. The cars here haven’t had any water or food supplies. I’m down to my last bit of water and having to ration it. I know the emergency services are busy but we’ve just been left here without help.”

Paul Smith was stuck on a local road heading towards the town of Ambleside on Saturday evening after experiencing serious delays on the M6 motorway.

“The snow just came down and as you can see the road all the way down is still blocked,” he said.

“We’re still about a mile-and-a-half from Ambleside and it’s just been like moving ten yards, stopping and moving again.”

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said it was utilising its 4X4 vehicles to help “vulnerable people stuck in the snow as required”, adding it was assisting at reception centres.

Cumbria Police said the M6 southbound motorway between junctions 38 and 37 was blocked on Saturday due to jack-knifed lorries and that the A595 between Millom and Furness was impassable.

National Highways said it was also dealing with a large number of stranded vehicles on Saturday evening, particularly on the M6 between junctions 38 and 40.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice for the area from midnight until 11:00 on Sunday.

Further south, a yellow weather warning for ice is in place from midnight until 08:00 for London, the east of England, the West Midlands and parts of south Wales.

Another yellow alert for snow across eastern parts of England expired at 07:00. A separate alert for both snow and ice covers the same area but stretches further north, to beyond Middlesbrough, south below Birmingham and west into Wales, until midday.

Separately, an amber cold-health alert issued by the UK Health Security Agency remains in place for five regions in England,with a yellow warning in place for four more.

The agency warned: “Cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time, with potential for the whole population to be at risk.”

The amber alert is in place for the East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber until 5 December.

Heavy snow has also been causing disruption across Europe this weekend.

Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic have been hit by train and flight cancellations, with the German weather service predicting that 30-40cm of snow could fall by Saturday evening.

Find out the weather forecast for your area, with an hourly breakdown and a 14-day lookahead, by downloading the BBC Weather app: AppleAndroidAmazon

The BBC Weather app is only available to download in the UK.

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