Latest UK snow: Airports have been shut down by snow as motorists have been urged not to travel

Two major UK airports have been forced to close due to heavy snowfall as yellow weather warnings cover large parts of the UK.

Road users in south-east England have been urged by the National Highways not to drive unless absolutely necessary due to heavy snow already falling on Sunday evening, with up to 10cm forecast.

The snowy weather has also prompted some school closures across the country, with some in Gloucestershire, Devon and London already announcing they will close on Monday.

On Sunday evening snow forced Stansted Airport to close its runway while it was cleared of snow and all flights were suspended.

The airport said: “London Stansted Airport’s runway is currently closed to allow for snow clearance due to weather conditions and all flights are currently suspended.

“Flight delays used to be due to aircraft de-icing, which is the responsibility of a ground handler, and the safety of aircraft and passengers is paramount. Passengers are advised to check with their airline for the latest status of their flights.”

Gatwick Airport was also forced to close its runway due to “unforeseen snowfall”, disrupting hundreds of flights.

More than 30 flights to Gatwick landed at airports as far away as Amsterdam and Manchester, while many others were simply told their flights had been cancelled.

Earlier on Sunday, a shortage of de-icing equipment at Sussex Airport caused a spate of cancellations and long delays, and late in the afternoon snow forced dozens of diversions – with arrivals from Dubai and Stockholm landing in Amsterdam and other flights scattering via UK airports were from Bournemouth to Liverpool.

Abandoned cars on the A22 near East Grinstead

(PA)

The most extreme cancellations have come at London City Airport, where 34 flights – the vast majority of departures – have been grounded and incoming planes have been diverted to Norwich, Birmingham and Cardiff. Some planes simply turned around and flew back to their departure points in Luxembourg, Edinburgh and Milan.

Hundreds more flights are expected to be canceled on Monday as winter weather continues. Airports are asking passengers who have booked for Monday to check that their flight is actually operating before leaving for the airport.

Heavy snow has hit parts of the UK

(PA)

British Airways alone suspended more than 70 short-haul flights to and from London Heathrow on Monday. Destinations with multiple cancellations include Belfast, Edinburgh, Milan, Zurich and Barcelona.

It comes as temperatures in the UK could drop to a chilly -10C overnight in parts of the country.

Wintry conditions in Little Venice, London

(PA)

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings, with parts of the country expecting snow and ice through Thursday.

Kent has been particularly badly hit with snow severely affecting the M2, M20 around junctions 8 and 9, the A21 and the A249 – and drivers are struggling to get through, National Highways said.

Duty Operations Manager for the region, Gina Oxley, said: “We have been out and about throughout the afternoon and continue to cover routes so we can reach the hardest hit areas and assist our customers with their travels.

“For anyone thinking of traveling tonight our advice would be not to do so unless absolutely necessary as heavy snowfall is expected to continue until 9am tomorrow.”

(AP)

Road users in Cornwall are also being advised not to travel due to the treacherous weather on Monday.

Over the weekend, the region’s fire and rescue service control center processed more than 300 reports of ice-related road accidents.

Warwickshire Police have also issued a warning, telling motorists to avoid driving near the village of Halford “unless it is a life-or-death emergency”. Nine collisions occurred in the area on Sunday afternoon, requiring two roads to be closed.

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