Olivier Cumer, who was travelling to Lyon in France, said: “It is just a bit
of snow, it happens every year but they just don’t seem to know what to do
about it. The departure boards are all wrong and nobody seems to know what
is going on.”

Nearly a quarter of trains were either late or cancelled, compared with just
under one in 10 on a normal day.

At its worst point, Virgin Trains cancelled two out of three trains an hour
from London to Manchester and Birmingham. However, the company lifted all
travel restrictions and allowed passengers to use cheap tickets on any
service. Several rail companies operated emergency timetables, including
East Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia and South West Trains. Delays were also
reported by First Great Western and CrossCountry. Eurostar cancelled four
trains.

On the roads, conditions were particularly bad on sections of the M4 in south
Wales and tailbacks were reported in Cardiff and Newport.

Several crashes added to the problems, with accidents on the M25 in Essex,
Surrey and Hertfordshire, the M4 in Berkshire and the M1 in Leicestershire.
The AA said it was dealing with about 900 breakdowns an hour.

A gritter with a snow plough attached toppled into a ditch on a road on the
edge of Exmoor affected by snow drifts. The driver was unhurt.

It also emerged that a pensioner had died three days after slipping while
clearing snow from his drive. Graham Clark, 73, was found with serious head
injuries in the village of Buxhall in Suffolk on Tuesday afternoon.

A full-scale search and rescue mission was under way to look for a hiker in
the Cairngorms who had become separated from their group.

The snow clouds will clear, but the Met Office warned that the ground covering
is here to stay, and there will be more snow for London and the South East
on Sunday. The temperatures for most of the country will hover around zero
or -1C. Ice is expected to be the main hazard over the weekend.

Frank Saunders, the Met Office chief forecaster, said: “The public should be
aware of the risk of localised disruption to transport.”

Steve Crosthwaite, head of the Highways Agency’s National Traffic Operations
Centre added: “We advise drivers to check road conditions and the Met Office
weather forecast before they set off and during severe weather to consider
whether their journey is essential.”

The Met Office confirmed that the snow fell largely as predicted. Only
Cornwall and areas of northern Scotland escaped the white-out. Merthyr
Tydfil was among the worst hit areas, with reports of panic-buying causing
some local shops running out of stock.

Snow brings its usual struggles… but at least the forecast was right – Telegraph.co.uk
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