Page last updated at 04:46 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Travellers face further problems

Snow at London Victoria
Rail services into London were particularly badly hit on Monday

Commuters in London are facing a second day of travel disruption caused by the heaviest snowfalls in 18 years.

Rail routes into the city are expected to be better than on Monday although delays are expected.

Transport for London (TfL) said most bus and Tube services were returning to normal but some problems remained. Drivers are also warned of icy roads.

Those planning to fly from the city's airports were advised to check with their airline before travelling.

Maintenance teams equipped with ice breakers and snow ploughs have been working through the night in a bid to get the crippled rail network working again in the South East.

A spokesman for Network Rail, which owns and runs Britain's rail infrastructure, said there would be "a much better service" into London than on Monday.


"We still expect there will be some delays to services in the morning because as with driving on the road, train drivers take extra care in hazardous conditions, otherwise trains can slip and slide through stations and through red signals. They take things a bit easier."

He added that services to London from Kent and Sussex would resume.

"We expect people will be able to get into Charing Cross and London Bridge, which they weren't able to do.

"We're just making sure we keep the main routes open."

All London buses were taken off the roads for a period on Monday but TfL said most routes would return to a full service on Tuesday.

The district and bakerloo lines on the London Underground were part suspended on Tuesday morning.

A TfL spokesman said people should check its website and listen to local radio stations for the latest news.

"We're doing the best we can. We're slightly at the mercy of the elements. It's very unusual circumstances and we have got people working around the clock."

Blues and Royals Regiment during the Changing of the Guard
Some parts of London life continued as normal despite the snow

Nearly 800 flights were cancelled at Heathrow on Monday because of heavy snowfall and others suffered long delays.

A British Airways spokesman said alterations would create further problems.

"We have aircraft in different places because there were planes due into Heathrow that were diverted," the spokesman said.

"There will be some disruption as a result of that. It takes some time to get aircraft where they should be."

About 200 Ryanair flights into and out of the UK were cancelled, mostly at Stansted, while flights were also cancelled at Luton and Gatwick.

TfL and the Highways Agency have been gritting roads in the region but the message was that people should make only essential journeys as conditions were expected to remain dangerous.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, admitted that the capital was not equipped to deal with the unusually heavy snowfalls seen on Sunday night.

"This is the kind of snow we haven't seen in London in decades. We don't have the snow-ploughs that we would otherwise need to be sure of getting the roads free," he said.

But he added it did not necessarily make sense to make a major investment in snow-ploughs if they were used only once every two decades.

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