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Snow blanket continues icy grip
Freezing temperatures and a blanket of snow will continue their grip on the UK this week - though the nation might at last get a glimpse of the sun.
A layer of snow and icy conditions proved hazardous for motorists on Sunday and once again cause disruption on the rail networks and brought hundreds of flights to a halt.
Winter continued to take its toll on Sunday. One person was killed in Essex in an accident on the A12 in Essex last night, and drivers are being warned to take extra care on journeys.
A teenager was left fighting for his life after suffering head injuries in a sledging accident in Middlesbrough and a man was taken to hospital in Kent with broken bones in his face when he was racially attacked after confronting a group of youngsters throwing snowballs at him.
Heavy snow fall has closed two major roads across the Pennines, the A628 Woodhead Pass and the A66 between Brough and Bowes. The Highways Agency said both routes would be closed for some hours and advised drivers to find alternative routes across the Pennines.
At Heathrow Airport planes are due to be grounded for a fourth day and passengers are advised to check the status of their flights before travelling to the airport. On Sunday passengers were left fuming after 260 flights were cancelled - 20% of the airport's usual business - and today 10% are due to be cancelled because of expected low visibility.
A Heathrow spokesman said yesterday: "Many airports have plenty of spare runway capacity so aircraft can be spaced out more during low visibility without causing delays and cancellations. Because Heathrow operates at almost full capacity, there is simply no room to reschedule the delayed flights."
The rail network is also braced for another day of snow and ice-related delays and cancellations. East Coast, Eurostar, First Capital Connect, London Overground, Southeastern, Southern, South West Trains and Virgin trains are all facing disruption.
Sally Webb, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the Press Association's weather division, said snowfall would continue to push north through northern England and Scotland today, dumping up to 7cm in many areas and up to 15cm on higher ground. There will be less snow in the south, with little more than 2cm dusting areas in the east.
"The rest of the week will stay cold, and the snow system will continue to push north through tomorrow morning before gradually clearing. For most of the week it will be drier with some sunny spells, with a few wintry showers about, especially on the North Sea coasts. It will be cold until the weekend, and then a little milder, and the risk of snow will decrease."