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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 09:48 GMT
Shivering UK braves icy weather
Heavy traffic on the M20 in Ashford, Kent
Commuters face travel chaos after snow and freezing temperatures
Much of the UK is enduring icy conditions after temperatures plummeted as low as -5C overnight.

It comes after heavy snow caused severe travel disruption in parts of south-east England and Scotland.

Road closures continued during Thursday's rush hour and 464 schools in Kent have been closed because of the weather.

More snow is expected in southern, eastern and north-east England before milder conditions later.

'Treacherous' conditions

The Army was called in to help emergency services in Kent travel through the snow on Wednesday.

BBC weather forecaster Alex Deakin forecast further problems ahead, with "dangerous" road conditions.

Police warned driving conditions would be treacherous across the county after freezing temperatures overnight.

Drivers battle the conditions
More icy conditions are predicted on the roads

The M2 was closed between junctions 5 and 6 after an accident and the M20 was closed in both directions between junctions 8 and 9.

Train and bus services were also disrupted and power cuts were affecting some parts of the county.

On Wednesday, buses and trains ran late or were cancelled.

Huge queues of traffic built up on the M20 and M2 in Kent. The M23 through Surrey and Sussex was also badly affected.

The Army was called in to help the NHS transport staff to Kent hospitals as conditions worsened. Soldiers were on standby with four-wheel-drive vehicles to help police.

Col Anthony Kimber, an Army spokesperson in the county, said it had been asked to "provide a fairly small number of four-wheel-drive vehicles to improve their mobility".

The snow cut off electricity supplies to up to 200 homes in the county.

Road accidents

The Highways Agency said it had acted quickly to get gritters out on all major roads but East Sussex County Council admitted it had been caught out.

HAVE YOUR SAY
The roads I used to get to work this morning were like skating rinks - none of them had been gritted
Carol, Basildon, UK

In north-east Scotland, almost 80 schools were closed or partially closed on Wednesday, although most roads were open.

At least three people were injured in a series of road accidents, with one driver having to be freed after becoming trapped in his car near Udny.

A police spokesman warned drivers to take their time on the roads and keep their speed down.

Schools in parts of Leeds and in northern Yorkshire were closed after heavy snow fell on Wednesday morning.

Motorists reported traffic chaos across Yorkshire after driving conditions caused gridlock on main routes into and around towns and cities.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the chaos caused by the bad weather



SEE ALSO:
Army called in to cope with snow
02 Mar 05 |  England
School closures as snow continues
02 Mar 05 |  Scotland
Snow affects schools and roads
02 Mar 05 |  West Yorkshire


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