Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Weather delays flights at Gatwick

Passengers at Gatwick Airport

Delays stranded Gatwick passengers on Wednesday night

Passengers waiting for flights from Gatwick have been facing more delays because of the snow, with some due to spend a second night at the airport.

Hundreds of passengers spent Wednesday night sleeping at the airport after more than 400 flights were cancelled.

On Thursday, a total of 136 inbound and outbound flights were scrapped.

Budget airline EasyJet had to cancel more than 100 flights and British Airways was among other carriers that had to abandon some services.

Restricted services

Airport staff spent the day de-icing stands and walkways to make it safe for passengers.

Gatwick Airport has urged passengers to contact their airline for information.

In a statement, it said it remained open but with some disruption to flight arrivals and delays to departures.

"We are working hard to keep the runway clear, although the threat of more snow and ice remains.

"Some airlines are operating very restricted services, however, and we strongly advise passengers to contact their airline before setting out for the airport.

"We regret the disruption caused to our passengers' travel plans, but the safety and security of aircraft and passengers are our number one priority."

School closed

Southeastern and Southern Railway have been continuing to run restricted services because of the weather and have urged passengers to check timetables before they travel.

Meanwhile, thousands of Sussex homes were without electricity supplies after power lines came down.

EDF said premises across Kent, Surrey and Sussex were without electricity overnight with Crawley and Brighton the worst affected areas.

By Thursday evening, the company said about 500 customers were without electricity, with contractors working as late as possible to try to restore power.

The areas still affected included Haywards Heath, Newick, Horsham, Warnham and Cranleigh, a spokesman said.

The British Red Cross, Horsham District Council and the Salvation Amy have been providing food, blankets and emergency heaters to vulnerable and elderly people in the Warnham and Storrington areas of West Sussex.

Village cut off

Peter Nottage, 49, said his home in Warnham had been without electricity for three days.

His pub, the Sussex Oak, which is in the same village, had also been cut off but had its power restored late on Wednesday.

"We've had three log fires going for heat, and we've been using candlelight so it's been quite cosy," he said.

"We've tried to extend the hours we do food so that people without power can come in to eat, but we had to stop serving food last night as we couldn't see in the kitchen."

He added: "The whole village has basically been cut off as there's been no public transport and there have been very few cars coming in or out."

Major roads gritted

In Brighton and Hove, businesses and residents were urged to help keep the city moving by sweeping and salting pavements in front of their premises.

The council said its workers had already gritted all major roads and it had diverted 100 gardens staff and street cleaners to hand-grit pavements.

"Staff are working flat-out gritting the highways and major paths," said council leader Mary Mears.

"But we are experiencing the worst cold snap we've had for decades.

"It would be of great service if people could do their bit to clear the snow and ice."


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SEE ALSO
Snowbound Gatwick reopens runway
06 Jan 10 |  Sussex
Freeze tightens grip on England
07 Jan 10 |  England

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