Snow in Newcastle
By Tom Peck
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Hundreds of schools shut across the country yesterday, as thick snow continued to fall and temperatures plummeted to well below freezing. Thousands of homes were without power and roads and airports were closed, causing travel chaos. Forecasters were warning that temperatures could plunge even lower last night, to
-20C, as snow was expected to hit and the Home Counties . London
In Tayside and
, 3,000 homes were without power, though Scottish and Southern Energy said power would be restored to "the vast majority" by midnight last night. Perth
Police have advised drivers not to travel unless absolutely necessary; hundreds of motorists were trapped in their cars in
Scotland on Sunday night after several lorries jack-knifed on the A9 between Dunblane and , causing miles of tailbacks. More than 600 people were offered emergency accommodation in a Perth Perth sports hall after being stranded in heavy snow on the A9, one of the busiest roads in . Scotland
Warnings over icy roads have been issued across
Wales, Scotland and parts of . One driver was fighting for his life in hospital after he was hit by an out-of-control car in snowy conditions on the M1. The 40-year-old man from Wallsend, North Tyneside, was injured in a multiple vehicle pile-up near England Sheffield at 8am yesterday.
Councils have increased stockpiles of salt and grit but in Aberdeenshire, one of the worst-affected areas, supplies have been rationed.
The council said it had used 12,000 tons of salt so far this year, compared with 3,500 tons during the same period in 2009, but it expected fresh supplies to arrive later this week.
More than 450 schools are closed in
England, with Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham, Cumbria, East Yorkshire and Shropshire particularly affected.
, more than 800 schools are closed, from Shetland down to Edinburgh and the Lothians. About 93 schools across Scotland Northern Ireland are closed because of the bad weather, while 10 schools are closed in . Rubbish collections were suspended in Wales North Tyneside to allow refuse-collection vehicle drivers and crews to help grit roads.
It is the earliest widespread snowfall in the
since 1993. With the Greater London area and UK at risk of snowfall last night, the Met Office warned that drifting snow could cause disruption to road and rail networks towards the end of the week. Kent
David Sparks, of the Local Government Association, said councils were prepared to cope with the winter weather. He said: "Local authorities this year have made unprecedented preparations for the winter."