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Temperatures plummet as the south shivers

Snowfall in Tunbridge Credit: Grey2Black Photography

Temperatures dropped as low as minus 6C in places as Britain shivers through a wintry weekend.

Benson in south Oxfordshire recorded minus 5.6C, while there was a light dusting of snow in parts of Kent and Sussex.

Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said temperatures will struggle up slightly today but warned there is another chilly night ahead.

Benson in 2010 recorded temperatures of -15C Credit: PA

Overnight there will be a widespread frost with temperatures again falling below zero in most places and as low as minus 5C in some areas.

There is also a risk of patches of freezing fog, Mr Payne added.

Next week will see the weather become more unsettled.

Temperatures will rise by Tuesday and could be closer to the average for November or even slightly warmer.



"Unacceptable and out of control" - the verdict on Great Western line's upgrade

Credit: ITV news

Staggering, unacceptable and out of control. That is how MPs today describe the massive project to upgrade the Great Western line from Paddington to Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The project has tripled in cost to £2.8 billion in the last five years and doubled in just a year and is late.

The inquiry found:

58 new commuter trains for the Thames Valley from next Spring will now be delayed because the work is so late.

Tens of thousands who use the most crowded trains in the country will see delays in the improvements promised.

A new fleet of Hitachi bullet trains costing £5.6 billion due from the end of 2017. There are fears these trains may be left in the sidings until the delays are sorted out.

The damming report confirms an exclusive report by ITV News last week that fleets of new trains will enter service late, meaning passengers have to suffer some of the worst overcrowding for much longer than expected. It is thought the project could be two delayed by two years. It says other projects may have to be delayed to make up for overrunning costs, as revealed by ITV News.

The MP's make a number of recommendations including demands for new costings and publishing a realistic delivery time for the project. They want a review of the role of the regulator and better controls on Network Rail planning and spending.

Network Rail say they will soon publish a review that will outline new costs and timescales.

Here are the key recommendations:

Recommendation: The Department of Transport should carry out a fundamental review of the regulator's role and effectiveness in rail infrastructure planning.

Recommendation: The Department, Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road should put in place sharper accountability arrangements for major enhancement projects, such as the Great Western Main Line electrification. They should also agree principles on when it is appropriate to fund and manage these projects outside the five year rail funding cycle, and build in strong accountability mechanisms to avoid costly overruns.

Recommendation: Network Rail must embed much tighter project planning, costing and cost control throughout the organisation and be clearer with the Department about what can and cannot be afforded.

Recommendation: The Department and Network Rail should publish an updated schedule and cost forecast for the Great Western Main Line electrification programme, a full account of what has caused the cost increases to date and proposals for controlling future costs, including the liabilities associated with the new electric trains.

Recommendation: The Department and Network Rail need to have a clear and agreed public strategy about which rail projects are deliverable. Deadlines for key milestones must be clear, realistic, and transparent to passengers and the public.

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