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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 12:41 GMT
Big thaw as ice clears
Lightwater, Surrey
Untreated roads and pavements are still treacherous
Britain's transport network is returning to near normal on Thursday as temperatures rise and the snow and ice melts.

Icy conditions made driving treacherous early in the day but by 1100 GMT, gritters had done their work and roads were cleared.

A particularly nasty smash involving 10 vehicles and a jack-knifed lorry caused tailbacks at junction 37 on the M62 in Yorkshire between 0700 and 1100.

Ice was also responsible for a number of small crashes in Surrey and Essex.

Vehicles on snow covered road
Conditions have caused accidents and delays
Helen Blaby, of the BBC traffic centre, said that although motorways were safe, drivers should still take caution on ungritted side roads.

"With the sun being low, it tends not to melt side roads where houses are in the way," she said.

At Heathrow Airport, which was hit by 150 flight cancellations on Wednesday, airlines were getting back to normal.

There were just three flight cancellations and 19 cancelled arrivals.

Ice to return

Spokesman Ian Gatherum said the airlines were catching up with Wednesday's backlog.

The sunny picture across the country is in contrast to Wednesday when two inches of snow fell in central London - the most since February 1994.

In Kent, more than 100 schools in the county closed and the Bluewater shopping centre's 300 shops and restaurants shut.

There were delays to train services across the south east of England caused by the severe weather.

TALKING POINT
Winter weather: Your experiences
It seems a south east phenomenon that people forget how to drive safely when there's snow and ice

John, England

And the problems are not over yet.

BBC weather forecaster Peter Gibbs warned to expect more ice and freezing fog overnight.

"There is a definite trend emerging over the next few days for milder weather to spread back in through the whole of the UK," he said.

"But tonight just about everywhere is at risk of catching a touch of frost and with damp surfaces around that means we have to look out for ice."


Talking PointTALKING POINT
 Winter weather
Your experiences and pictures
See also:

08 Jan 03 | England
08 Jan 03 | Media reports
06 Jan 03 | England
07 Jan 03 | England
04 Jan 03 | UK
04 Jan 03 | UK
06 Jan 03 | Scotland
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