Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Schools ordered to close for snow

Cadbury factory in Bournville, Birmingham
More snow is forecast overnight (Photo: Chris Hamlett)

Birmingham City Council has announced all of its schools will be closed on Tuesday because of expected snowfall.

More than 110 schools, colleges and nurseries were closed in the West Midlands on Monday as a result of snow.

West Midlands Ambulance Service warned drivers to take extra care on the roads in the icy conditions.

The afternoon meeting at Wolverhampton Racecourse was abandoned because of the weather and the runway at Birmingham Airport closed temporarily.

The airport had been receiving arrivals heading to other affected airports, including Luton, Gatwick and Stansted - until snow hit the runway at about 0930 GMT.

An airport spokeswoman said it had to remain closed until 1100 GMT.

She said: "We were receiving flights from other airports earlier this morning but the snow is really heavy here now and it is expected to worsen as the day goes on so we are playing it by ear."

Snow fell in the region on Sunday and Monday and more is expected on Tuesday.

Bus services across the West Midlands were sticking only to main routes and the Highways Agency urged people to only travel if necessary.

Staff at Birmingham City Council were allowed to leave early in case of difficulties returning home.

Frank F Harrison Engineering College, near Bloxwich, was among colleges to close and it also cancelled its parents' evening.

Redhouse Park, Birmingham
Ambulance officials urged people to take extra care in the snow

Meanwhile, Sandbank Nursery School, Bloxwich, closed mid-morning and also cancelled its after-school club.

In Birmingham, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Four Dwellings Primary School and Northfield Manor Primary were among schools closing for the afternoon.

The ambulance service warned people to take extra care on the roads and pavements.

An ambulance service spokeswoman said: "The trust is expecting an increase in 999 calls due to falls, slips and road traffic collisions."

Forecasters said an extra 2cm to 5cm (1-2in) of snow was expected to fall in Birmingham overnight.

Heavy snow has fallen across large parts of the country and the Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland.

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Travel chaos was expected in the West Midlands as more snow was forecast.



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