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Snow to trigger power cuts and travel chaos in UK

Met Office issues yellow warnings for snow and ice

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Britain is likely to be battered with snow causing power cuts and road closures in various parts of the country. The Met Office has issued a series of new weather warnings for large swathes of the country, with Scotland, set to be the worst hit.

An amber snow alert is in place for north-eastern Scotland – including Aberdeen and Inverness – until midnight.

The Met Office said this was likely to trigger power cuts and could affect mobile phone coverage.

A Level 3 Cold Weather Alert is in force, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and covers all of England. It is currently in place until 9am on January 20.

Dale Hipkiss, National Network Manager at National Highways, said: “Freezing conditions bring so many hazards such as ice and snow and take every possible step to understand your journey in advance and allow lots of extra time when travelling to prepare for the unexpected.

“It is therefore always important to plan ahead for your journey, listen to the weather forecasts, and if weather conditions become challenging, adjust your driving behaviour and take extra care.

“We have a section of our website dedicated to travelling during the autumn and winter period, as part of our guide to travelling in severe weather.

“It’s also a good idea for people to check their vehicles, such as tyres, coolant and oil levels, before heading out to reduce the risk of breakdowns.”

The cold spell will come to an end later this week and through the weekend across western areas, where it will turn milder and windier with some rain at times.

However, the cold air is likely to hang on for longer across eastern and southeastern parts of the UK with sharp overnight frosts.
Meanwhile, motorists in some parts of England are being urged to only travel if “absolutely essential” after freezing weather led to dozens of road accidents.

A separate alert for northern Scotland, in place until 9am on Wednesday, suggests road closures are also possible.

In Wales, Devon and Cornwall, the West Midlands, the North West, south-western Scotland and Northern Ireland, more yellow ice and snow warnings in effect until 10am on Wednesday suggest roads and railways will be hit by delays.

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A major incident has been declared in Somerset after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle on Wednesday morning.

Avon and Somerset Police received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in the space of just five hours on Monday night – with treacherous conditions causing most of them.

Between 6pm and 11pm, a total of 53 collisions were reported to the force, and seven of these incidents reportedly resulted in injuries.

Superintendent Mark Runacres said: “If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution and allow additional time to travel.

“We have seen a significantly higher number of road-related collisions and incidents in the past 12 hours, which has increased the demand on police resources.”

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