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Snow and ice cause disruption on UK roads and at airports

LONDON:Motorists had to abandon their vehicles in icy conditions in the Lake District of England and flights were delayed at airports across the UK on Wednesday, and the bad weather is expected to cause further travel disruption.

Several flights were delayed or cancelled at Stansted airport, where the runway had to be cleared of snow, and at Luton, where passengers said they had been grounded for hours.

The RAC said it expected to have helped more than 9,000 motorists by the end of Wednesday, with many callouts relating to damage from potholes caused by the freezing weather and high water levels.

Police said drivers abandoned their vehicles on Honister pass in the Lake District due to icy conditions.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for ice across large parts of the UK for Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, and isolated snowfall was expected on higher ground in England, Wales and Scotland.

On Wednesday morning motorists on the A14 in the east midlands were at a standstill for more than seven hours after multiple collisions in snow and ice. The road was reopened in both directions in the early afternoon, albeit with traffic still moving slowly in some places.

The RAC told drivers to check local weather reports, leave extra time for their journey and pack a winter travel kit before leaving home. It warned of black ice on the roads on Wednesday evening.

Its spokesman Pete Williams said: “We are experiencing higher breakdown volumes than expected with callouts up by 15-20 per cent compared with seasonal norms. We look on track to attend over 9,000 members today.”

Thousands of people were left without power on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning as freezing temperatures and strong winds swept in. Western Power Networks, which serves the midlands, Wales and the southwest, said more than 14,000 properties had been left without power.

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