UK weather: Snow and ice warnings remain as thaw begins

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Media captionHow farmers are coping with the snow

Icy roads and snow are continuing to cause disruption in parts of the the UK but forecasters say temperatures in many areas have risen.

Warnings of snow remain in Scotland and ice warnings are in place for north-east England and Northern Ireland.

Many rail services are still affected while two flood warnings are in place.

It comes as Scotland's government is considering action against employers accused of docking the wages of staff who were stranded in the snow.

Meanwhile, many rural communities in south-west England which had been cut off by poor conditions can now be reached.

People in London and the south east of England are being urged to only use water when it is "essential" after supplies were hit following the severe weather.

In a statement, South East Water and Thames Water said they are providing bottled water to customers after the network suffered multiple bursts and leaks.

They urged people to take short showers rather than baths and only run washing machines and dishwashers with a full load, adding: "This will make a real difference."

Elsewhere, the villages of Lynmouth and Lynton in Devon had their water supply cut off, and roads into the village were impassable due to snow drift.

On Sunday evening Devon County Council said the roads to cut-off communities were now clear.

Across the country, the NHS said it "urgently" needs blood donors to help rebuild stocks after the bad weather led to fewer donations.

The UK's economic growth is also likely to take a short-term hit, experts have warned, predicting a "disaster" for the high street as people staying at home turned to online shopping.

Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said he had been contacted by workers who were facing disciplinary action or reduced wages for missing work - despite heeding warnings from police not to travel.

He told the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme that it was not acceptable and ministers would be looking at the legal position.

Weather warnings until Tuesday

The Met Office currently has two active yellow warnings in place, covering large areas of the UK.

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Media captionUK Snow: Acts of kindness from people during storms

One, warning of snow and ice, is in place until Monday night across a large area of central and eastern Scotland.

Snow showers are expected to continue, the warning says, and there could be icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

A second warning for ice in parts of north-east England and Northern Ireland is in force until 11:00 GMT on Monday.

The Met Office has also issued a third yellow warning of snow and ice for Tuesday covering northern Scotland.

However, temperatures have been rising across England on Sunday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Many people had been snowed in for days, including Mags Turnbull from Browfoot Cottage in Cumbria
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Image caption Freezing temperatures were felt in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Two flood warnings - which were reduced from 16 on Sunday - have been issued for coastal parts of south-west and north-east England and are because of high tides, rather than thawing snow.

But in Devon there is a lower-scale flood alert - meaning flooding is possible, rather than expected - on the rivers Clyst and Culm due to snow melt.

The Environment Agency, which had over 30 live flood alerts on Sunday, has warned of a potential surge in water levels.

On Saturday the Dawlish rail line, also in Devon, was closed as a result of flooding, but was later reopened.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The severe weather has affected dozens of train lines

Met Office forecaster Becky Mitchell said there would be a reduced risk of snow across much of southern England and Wales.

"The main point is it's gradually turning milder so we are seeing an end to widespread cold conditions from this weekend onwards."

What is happening with the trains?

National Rail has been advising passengers to check their service before travelling while many operators are running to a reduced timetable.

  • The Virgin Trains East Coast is urging passengers not to travel until Monday, although a normal Sunday timetable is running with some alterations
  • Services on Virgin's West Coast route between Carlisle and Glasgow reopened on Sunday evening after a day of replacement buses
  • Arriva Trains Wales said it plans to run a full service on the majority of its network on Monday, although no trains will run on the Heart of Wales or Blaenau Ffestiniog lines. On Sunday, many routes are running but services are limited
  • Certain Great Western Railway services have been suspended including routes between Westbury and Melksham and Swindon and Gloucester
  • On the Northern network, the Leeds to Carlisle/Lancaster route will be suspended until Monday
  • ScotRail said a "nearly normal service" is running on Scotland's railways but there may be some "minor alterations"
  • CrossCountry is running its timetabled service except for certain routes. On Sunday evening, the line between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central reopened. A full service will run on all routes from Monday

On Saturday, Network Rail urged people in the north-east of England and the East Midlands to only travel if "absolutely necessary".

Virgin Trains East Coast also resumed services between Newcastle and Scotland but advised customers not to travel unless it was essential.

Great Western Railway advised passengers not to travel unless the journey is "unavoidable" while most rail companies urged people to check before travelling.

Meanwhile, an independent investigation will be launched after passengers stuck on four stranded Southeastern trains in Lewisham, south London, "forced open" the carriage doors and walked along the tracks.

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Image caption People have been helping to clear grounds of schools in Scotland
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scotland is still recovering from the so-called Beast from the East

A plan is being put together for a clean-up operation after Holyhead Marina, in Anglesey, north Wales, was battered by Storm Emma.

The weather conditions over the past few days damaged a large number of vessels berthed in the marina.

In Scotland, government ministers for volunteers to help in clearing up local roads and pavements, and checking on vulnerable people.

Meanwhile in Norwich, an elderly man - described as a "Good Samaritan" by his family - died of a suspected heart attack while trying to rescue a motorist stuck in the snow.

Airports have been re-opening and train routes resuming, but some operators have warned of reduced or altered timetables.

How are the airports affected?

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Many airports have now reopened and flights are resuming but some issues still remain and passengers are being advised to check with their airlines.

  • Leeds Bradford Airport: Some flights are still departing but many are delayed
  • Glasgow Airport: The airport is open after "the worst snowfall in its history" but there are "some delays"
  • Cardiff Airport: There will be a knock-on impact on flights as a result of the weather
  • Bristol Airport: The airport is operational however flights could be disrupted. Snow in the airport car park means travellers could face longer queues

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