Snow closing roads and grounding flights in UK
The Army was placed on standby and the police urged motorists not to travel unless their journeys were absolutely necessary.
Persistent heavy snowfall hit the Midlands, the home counties and Wales throughout the morning, leading the Met Office to issue an amber weather warning that will be in place until at least 6pm this evening.
Up to four inches of snow was expected to fall across much of England while forecasters warned that double could be seen in higher areas in Scotland and the Peak District.
Flights were suspended at Birmingham and Luton airports while the runway was cleared, leaving passengers facing lengthy delays, while sections of the M1 , M40, A417 and A458 were closed following multiple pile-ups.
Trains were cancelled across the country because of points failures and bus routes cancelled completely in the worst affected areas.
The Met Office issued an Amber Alert accompanied by a yellow warning for wind in parts of eastern England, London and the South East, the South West and Wales that could bring "short-term loss of power and other services" as well as transport disruption. ■