People have been warned to prepare for cold weather as ice and snow is set to hit parts of the UK.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for ice in parts of Britain which is in force until 10:00 GMT on Saturday.

Shortly after 8am this morning, National Rail announced it had been forced to suspend trains on a section of the Southern service due to the icy weather.

National Rail said passengers were strongly advised not to travel between Lewes and Hastings.

Brighton & Hove buses will accept Southern tickets between Brighton, Lewes and Eastbourne in both directions. Source : Train Operating Company.

Public Health England also issued a warning telling people to take precautions as temperatures look set to drop.

The weather warning has been issued for Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland and Wales as well as the north of England, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

It comes as councils across England and Wales have 1.5 million tonnes of salt stockpiled, gritters out in force and an army of salt-equipped street cleaners ready to hit the roads.

The forecaster said: "A band of rain, sleet and snow showers will move from the North West to South East across the yellow area through Friday, clearing during the early hours of Saturday, followed by further wintry showers.

"Icy patches are likely to form on untreated surfaces as temperatures fall."

Dr Thomas Waite, from Public Health England reminded people to be prepared ahead of the cold weather: "There are people who may not take precautions and who are at a very real risk.

"Those most at risk include older people, very young children and those with conditions like heart and lung disease.

"That's why every cold season we urge people to look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be at risk.

"Ask yourself if you could check on a neighbour to see if there's anything they need?"

Figures earlier this week showed there were more than 34,000 "excess deaths" across England and Wales over the last winter period, the second highest level in eight years.

The Office for National Statistics said the rise was likely to be due to a "predominant strain of flu prevalent during the 2016 to 2017 winter".