Record-breaking snow paralyzes London

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

London - Roads, airports and school were forced to close, buses and underground train services suspended, extreme weather warnings issued as the record-breaking snow hit much of Britain early Monday.

It is believed to be the worst-ever snowfall in south eastern England since 1991, leading to service suspension of London buses and closure of Heathrow runways.

Road and rail travels were also badly affected by the snow that was up to 15cm.

Heavy snowfalls and icy weather conditions were likely to continue throughout the week, bringing further chaos to the roads and public transport system, according to the London weather service, the Met Office.

Monday's disruptions to trains, tubes and buses, which resulted in one in five people not making it to work, will probably persist until Friday, although the weather will become less severe as the week progresses.

The Met Office has issued an extreme weather warning for England, Wales and parts of eastern Scotland.

Thousands of school children across England were surprisingly happy to have snow fight instead of their travel to school as their schools were closed for the day.

London City and Luton airports were closed, and a runway at Southampton airport was also shut, however, the Norwich airport has been reopened.

Heathrow Airport had to also shut both runways and according to the London Highways Agency, there were many minor accidents on the roads.

Meanwhile, in South African, British Airways on Monday called off all short-haul flights for the day.

Travellers were advised to check with their airlines before setting off, while British Airways said another day of disruption was possible.