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Latest update on travel disruption amid snow, wind and ice

Drivers became stranded on several roads, while hundreds of flights and trains were cancelled.

Travel continued to be severely disrupted on Friday as snow, wind and ice caused chaos.

Drivers became stranded on several roads, while hundreds of flights and trains were cancelled.

Here are some of the latest reported issues:

Roads

The South West and northern England experienced the worst driving conditions.

There are road closures in place on the A303 in southern England, the A1 in Northumberland and the transpennine routes of the M62, A628 and A66.

Some 200 vehicles trapped overnight on the M62 were brought off the motorway on Friday morning, Greater Manchester Police said.

Drivers were stuck on the A303 for up to 17 hours between Ilminster in Somerset and Mere in Wiltshire.

A number of crashes were reported on the M20 in Kent due to black ice.

One driver reported seeing three crashes on the road in a short space of time.

Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard said: “We are encouraging road users, particularly in the South West, Pennine areas and Northumberland, to drive only if it’s necessary.

“Anyone thinking of using the roads should be advised to keep their distance and reduce speed, because even in conditions that seem normal, and the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh grit has not been worked into the carriageway.”

Trains

Train services were cancelled and delayed across nearly all operators on Friday, with many urging passengers not to attempt to make journeys.

All cross-border trains between England and Scotland were suspended.

The West Coast Main Line was closed between Carlisle and Scotland, with no trains or replacement buses.

Virgin Trains East Coast pleaded with passengers “not to travel” on the entire East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.

No trains ran between Newcastle and Edinburgh on Friday.

The rail line at Dawlish on the south Devon coast was closed after the sea wall was breached.

Flooding and debris blocked the line after up to 15 metres of fencing and stones were displaced.

Network Rail said its engineers are facing “horrendous” conditions as they battle to keep as much of the railway clear of snow and ice as possible.

Flights

More than 1,900 flights were cancelled to or from UK and Irish airports on Friday.

Heathrow, the world’s busiest two-runway airport, saw at least 370 departing or arriving flights cancelled, representing around 30% of all scheduled services.

Airlines were asked to reduce their flights at the west London hub following discussions with airport officials and air traffic control provider Nats.

The high demand for slots at Heathrow means there is very little slack during normal operations and therefore the number of flights has to be cut during disruption.

Dublin Airport was forced to close, leading to 342 cancellations, while Edinburgh saw 219 flights unable to operate.

Staff at Glasgow Airport overcame “the worst snowfall in our history” to ensure the runway was open on Friday, although there were 132 cancellations.

London City Airport’s runway closed on Friday afternoon, and the airport saw at least 185 cancellations.

More than 5,400 flights have been cancelled to or from European airports since Wednesday, meaning many UK travellers are now stranded abroad.

A spokesman for travel trade organisation Abta said: “Customers who are overseas and whose flight arrangements are delayed or cancelled should liaise with their tour operator or airline regarding changes to their travel itineraries and new flight arrangements.

“If their flight is in the European Union or their airline is an EU carrier, customers will be entitled to food, refreshment and overnight accommodation or a refund of proportionate costs and will be flown home as soon as is possible at their airline’s expense.”

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