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Drivers warned of 'treacherous' conditions at start of working week

Treacherous driving conditions are expected to cause havoc for motorists as the country returns to work. Credit: PA

Treacherous driving conditions are expected to cause havoc for motorists as the country returns to work, after more than 12 inches of snow blanketed parts of the UK.

A yellow warning for ice is in place for most of Wales and central parts of England between 4am and 11am on Monday, the Met Office said.

Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said most places across the country will wake up to a "bright sunny morning" and that it will be "very cold overnight".

"We could see -10C or -12C in some rural locations where they have got the snow.

"Even in the cities, getting below freezing, so certainly a chilly night ahead," he added.

With ice expected "quite widely" for many beginning another working week, he said there will be "widespread slippery, icy conditions" with some "tricky conditions" on the roads and pavements.

"Another feature for Monday morning is that there is some rain that is going to come across and clip the south east corner of the UK," he added.

"There is a separate ice warning out for that because there is a chance that that rain could fall as a little bit of snow over the higher ground."

Workers struggled to clear the runway at Birmingham Airport. Credit: Birmingham Airport

Pete Williams, the RAC's road safety spokesman, said they are expecting 11,000 breakdowns on Monday, a figure which is 20% above the seasonal norm.

"I think the big thing is people are not going to leave enough time," he said.

"Journeys will take two to three times longer.

"It's going to be treacherous driving conditions."

He said low overnight temperatures could cause black ice and urged people to drive slowly, leaving plenty of space between them and the car in front.

Highways England said ahead of the heavy snowfall and in preparation for the overnight freeze, they have been working to keep motorways and major A-roads clear of snow and ice.

The Government-owned company said thousands of tonnes of salt has been spread on the M5, M6, M40, M42, M69, and the A5 and A49, with gritting crews also targeting the M1.

Traffic moves through along a snowy road in Walsall.

Mr Claydon said the biggest accumulation of snow was seen in Sennybridge in Wales where 32cm (12.5 inches) fell on Sunday.

This was followed by Hereford with 18cm (seven inches) and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire saw 17cm (6.6 inches).

As a result of the severe weather, flights were temporarily suspended at two UK airports, Birmingham and Luton, causing widespread delays for passengers.

Snow in the Cotswolds.

Major roads were also crippled, with the M1 briefly closed near Leicestershire and the A5 in Shropshire also forced to shut down.

In the West Midlands, an NHS trust was forced to put an appeal out for 4x4 drivers to help stranded nurses get to hospitals.

Rail routes into London were disrupted by the snow, including Great Northern, London Overground, Thameslink, Virgin Trains East Coast and Transport for London Rail services.

More than 25cm of snow fell in some areas. Credit: PA

And in the Midlands, rail passengers were advised by National Rail "not to travel this Sunday", as disruption hit Cross Country, London Northwestern Trains, Virgin Trains and West Midlands Railways services.

Motorists were also left stranded because of heavy snowfall on the M40 motorway, the A34 in Oxfordshire and the A5 in Milton Keynes, according to Thames Valley Police.

As a result of the snow and freezing conditions, Birmingham City Council has been forced to close all council-run school and related transport services on Monday, the authority said.