Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham Airport reopens after snow delays

Birmingham's German Market
Image caption Birmingham was among places which saw snowfall throughout Saturday

Birmingham Airport's runway has reopened after dozens of flights were cancelled and delayed because of the snowy conditions.

The runway reopened shortly after 1830 GMT but later flights were expected to be cancelled or delayed.

Bus and train services across the West Midlands were also affected.

Traffic was moving very slowly on the M5 between Birmingham and Worcester, with the northbound section seeing delays of three hours.

BBC reporter Colette Hume who had been at the scene said she had a "complete shock" at the traffic jams on the motorway and said at one stage vehicles did not move for 20 miles.

She said: "At one point people were getting out of their cars on the northern side of the motorway and flagging us down, begging us to take them to any motorway junction rather than leave them there.

"It was horrible seeing those people in that terrible predicament."

Ms Hume added there appeared to be no warnings advising motorists not to join the grid locked motorway.

She added: "I have never been so terrified in my whole life. It is not an experience I would want to go through again."

The Met Office has issued a warning of severe weather in the West Midlands.

It said widespread icy roads and snow were expected in many areas over the weekend.

Birmingham City's home Premier League game against Newcastle was called off because of the weather conditions.

Birmingham City Council said all routes had been gritted again at 1530 GMT and were continuing to be treated.

A spokeswoman said teams had been gritting city centre footpaths since lunchtime.

She said traffic had eased around the city centre although there were still problems at Belgrave Middleway, Holloway Circus and Paradise Circus.

Buses cancelled

Rail company London Midland said trains through Birmingham New Street were being affected with delays of up to 90 minutes.

The council said most National Express buses into the city centre had been cancelled and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Central Library had closed several hours early at lunchtime.

The spokeswoman added that the city centre markets also shut early, partially because of poor footfall.

The outdoor markets were expected to remain shut on Sunday, although the indoor market was due to open as normal.

Meanwhile, West Midlands Ambulance Service said Friday was its busiest day since regional records began.

It responded to 3,941 calls throughout the region, which was about 120 more responses than overnight on last New Year's Eve, which is traditionally the busiest time for the service.

A service spokeswoman said: "A large number of these calls were to reports of breathing problems, road traffic collisions and slips trips and falls, which have come about due to the sudden on set of cold weather.

"With the wintry weather set to stay over the next couple of days the public is being urged to take extra precautions to try to avoid any unnecessary accidents."

Christmas travellers were facing transport chaos as many parts of the UK saw heavy snow falls.

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