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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 04:26 GMT
Warning of treacherous UK roads
A gritter
Motorists are advised to use roads likely to have been gritted
Freezing rain which hit parts of the UK overnight will leave roads icy and dangerous during the Wednesday morning rush hour, the Met Office has warned.

Its severe weather warning said all of the UK except north-east Scotland may be affected, with central areas of the country facing the highest risk.

"This will be a short-lived but potentially dangerous event," it said.

Blizzards that stranded Gloucestershire drivers on Monday have ended, with snow restricted to the Shetland Islands.

DRIVING PRECAUTIONS
Check forecast before travelling
Use major roads more likely to have been gritted
Inform someone of your journey
Ensure lights and wipers in good order
Carry food and any necessary medication
Carry a blanket, warm clothing and sensible footwear
Ensure your mobile phone is charged
If stranded, stay with vehicle
*Source: RAC

The Met Office's weather warning was for between 0000 GMT and 1000 GMT on Wednesday, although it said conditions could stay treacherous past this time.

The areas at highest risk from freezing rain are south-west Scotland, north-west England, north-east England, the Midlands, south-west England and central southern england.

A Met Office spokesman said temperatures were expected to fall on Wednesday night and roads could be treacherous as rain hit below zero surfaces.

"Tomorrow morning it could start off as snow and the areas most at risk are areas further north such as Cumbria, south-west Scotland - including the Lowlands and Argyll and Bute," he said.

However, temperatures are expected to warm up later on Wednesday and could even hit double figures in some parts of the country, he said.

Stranded motorists

Up to 400 cars were abandoned across Gloucestershire after 3in (8cm) of snow fell in three hours on Monday.

Police used 4x4 vehicles to reach the last stranded motorists by midnight, with accidents reported on many main roads.

The worst affected areas were Cirencester, Stroud and the south Cotswolds.

Elsewhere, motorists in Wales were warned of black ice after it was blamed for 10 accidents in Carmarthenshire.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the snow-covered abandoned cars



SEE ALSO:
Drivers return to snow-bound cars
29 Nov 05 |  Gloucestershire
Motorists stuck after snowfalls
28 Nov 05 |  Gloucestershire
County 'will learn' snow lessons
28 Nov 05 |  Cornwall


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