Widespread disruption as parts of Britain blanketed in snow

Heavy snowfall across swathes of the UK causing widespread disruption on Sunday, leaving roads closed and flights grounded.

Snow fell overnight on Saturday and continued to fall heavily on Sunday, with significant build-ups across Wales and the Midlands including Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Bedfordshire, Powys, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Flights were suspended at Birmingham Airport while the runway was cleared and East Midlands airport temporarily closed its runway, delaying a number of outbound and inbound flights, with Luton Airport also shut its runway for an hour.

Some roads were left impassable, with motorists stranded, including a north-bound section of the M1, part of the M40 motorway, the A34 in Oxfordshire and the A5 in Milton Keynes, and police urged motorists not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”.

And one Midlands NHS Trust was forced to appeal for help online after the snow left hospitals with nurse shortages.

Blanket – heavy snowfall blanketed parts of the UK including the Midlands and Wales (Picture: PA)

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning that will be in place until 6pm on Sunday, with persistent heavy snowfall expected in the region throughout Sunday morning.

The heaviest snowfall was found in Sennybridge, south Wales, where 28cm of snow was recorded.

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Met Office forecaster Steven Keate said: “The worst of the snow is currently across parts of Wales and the west and southern Midlands, while there is some snow falling over the home counties as well.

“Herefordshire, Shropshire and Powys have seen a few centimetres in a couple of hours. Steady snow is expected as this weather system moves over the next few hours into the afternoon roughly from mid-Wales to the north of London.”

Disruption – rail passengers were advised not to travel while motorists were urged not to go anywhere unless unavoidable (Picture: PA)

In the Midlands, rail passengers were advised “not to travel this Sunday”, as disruption hit Cross Country, London Northwestern Trains, Virgin Trains and West Midlands Railways services.

Londoners also woke up to snowfall, leaving rail routes into the capital disrupted, including Great Northern, London Overground, Thameslink, Virgin Trains East Coast and Transport for London Rail services.

Heart of England trust, which represents hospitals in Birmingham and Solihull, issued an appeal via Twitter for nurses or people who could help their staff get into work.

The Trust tweeted: “Do you have a 4×4 and can volunteer to help our nurses get into our hospitals at good hope 424 7564 or heartlands 424 0483 pls give us a call. Thanks”

Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield serves northern Birmingham, while Heartlands hospital is based in Bordesley Green, in the east of the city.

The trust earlier said online: “Trained nurses needed at goodhope hospital due to heavy snow. If can get in pls call site office 424 7564.”

Amber alert – The Met Office issued an Amber Alert which is in place until 6pm on Sunday (Picture: PA)

The Met Office’s amber alert is accompanied by a yellow warning of wind for parts of eastern England, London and the South East, the South West and Wales that could bring “short-term loss of power and other services” as well as transport disruption.

London and the rest of southern England and Wales are set for strong winds and rain, with gusts expected to reach 70mph.

(Top picture: SWNS)