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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 14:09 GMT
Travellers struggle against snow
The M20 in Kent
Commuters faced travel chaos after snow and freezing temperatures
Drivers are being told to take care as severe weather continues to sweep parts of the UK, forcing schools to close and flights to be diverted.

Snow forced 103 schools in Kent and 64 in Norfolk to close, while Stansted airport was forced to shut its runway.

As Kent police warned of black ice, the RAC said drivers were staying at home.

Some 40 children have been suspended from school for a snow fight and County Durham police are probing the death of a nurse feared to have frozen to death.

The fully-clothed body of Shelley Whitfield, 21, was found face down in snow just yards from her home in Brandon on Wednesday morning.

All road users are asked to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they set out
Highways Agency

Meanwhile a fleet of Highways Agency vehicles has been gritting motorways and is attempting to keep all major roads open.

A spokesman said: "All road users are asked to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they set out, and if the weather is bad, drivers are advised to delay their journey if possible until conditions improve."

A spokesman for Stansted airport said six flights were cancelled and another six had to be diverted on Friday morning after snow and ice forced the closure of the runway for two hours.

Network Rail said no lines had been closed despite blizzards.

But First Great Western said one service between Redhill, Surrey, and Gatwick airport was cancelled.

Ian Cameron, of the Met Office, said Kent and south-east England, which were worst affected by Thursday's bad weather, would again bear the brunt of the travel disruption during the day.

Dogs

He said: "We are looking at the worst conditions lasting for around two to three hours as the band of wintry weather spreads south through the day."

He added that conditions would improve steadily from the north through the day as the snow turned back to rain.

Forecasters say snow could continue into Saturday, with drier conditions expected next week.

Kent has experienced its worst winter weather in 10 years in recent weeks.

And the elderly were warned to take care. Gordon Lishman, director general of charity Age Concern, said: "Older people should not put their health at risk by economising on their heating during the cold snap."

He advised elderly people to wrap up warm in several thin layers, keep active, eat a hot breakfast and keep at least one room well heated, plus contact their local Age Concern to discover benefits, like heating allowances, available to them.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch motorists struggle to cope in heavy snow




SEE ALSO:
Six hurt as bus crashes in snow
03 Mar 05 |  Southern Counties
In Pictures: Britain's big freeze
03 Mar 05 |  In Pictures
Army called in to cope with snow
02 Mar 05 |  England


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