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The BBC's Lisa Holland
"Months of preparations have been ruined by the severe weather"
 real 56k

Monday, 1 January, 2001, 04:05 GMT
Revellers cheer in the New Year
Trafalgar Square
London's Trafalgar Square saw crowds of 70,000
Partygoers across the UK have been celebrating the arrival of 2001.

The New Year's Eve partying continued into the early hours, despite bad weather causing several celebrations to be cancelled or scaled down.

Around 70,000 people gathered in London's Trafalgar Square and more than 100,000 in the shadow of Big Ben in Westminster, according to police.

This was despite no organised entertainment and advice from the Metropolitan Police to stay away.

There were 13 arrests in Westminster, mainly for drunk and disorderly offences.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "There were a lot of people out there but it was all mainly good natured. The rain and cold weather doesn't appear to have kept people away."

Meanwhile in Edinburgh more than 100,000 people packed into the centre for Britain's largest street party.

Edinburgh New Year celebrations
Musician Moby chose to play at Edinburgh over New York

Across Scotland Hogmanay revellers took to the streets for celebrations in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee and around 20,000 packed the centre of Glasgow, with only a handful of arrests.

Elsewhere, 32 towns and cities hosted 200 hours of festivities.

In Birmingham up to 10,000 people enjoyed a spectacular midnight laser and fireworks show played in by the Gurkha Pipe Band.

Cancelled

But not everyone was celebrating as official events in Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Londonderry, Stirling and Brighton had to be cancelled due to the weather.

Liverpool City Council is planning an event at Easter after it had to cancel two fireworks displays and an outdoor concert.

A council spokesman said: "Everyone is hugely disappointed but there is nothing we can do about it."

Stirling Council cancelled its New Year celebrations on police advice.

Celebrations in Belfast moved indoors to Ulster Hall.

Snow hits the roads
Driving conditions remain treacherous in some parts

A band of cold weather is expected to move from Northern Ireland across to the UK, bringing snow across northern England, Scotland and North Wales.

But London's New Year's Day Parade will go ahead, with organisers predicting that more than a million people will turn out to watch the parade.

Treacherous conditions continued to take their toll on the roads.

In County Durham police closed the A66 trans-Pennine route which runs into Cumbria because of heavy winds and snow.

In Northumberland, forecasters expect up to six inches of snow to fall throughout the night.

The bad weather also brought tragedy.

Search for missing schoolgirls

In the Republic of Ireland, a search was still under way for two schoolgirls whom police fear may have fallen through ice while skating on a lake.

The two cousins, aged 10 and 12, from Bellanode, County Monaghan, went missing at 2pm on Sunday afternoon.

A man died at Maudlin, near Bodmin, Cornwall, when his Ford Sierra struck a wall on an icy country road.

In Scotland, a climber died yesterday after falling 100ft on Ben Nevis in Scotland, police said. The man was reached by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team after a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was forced to turn back because of severe weather.

Another rescue attempt was launched for a second climber stranded on the same mountain, which is Britain's highest peak.

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See also:

01 Jan 01 | Scotland
Scots toast 2001
31 Dec 00 | SOL
More sport falls to weather
31 Dec 00 | Northern Ireland
Weather hits New Year events
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