More snow extends disruption across Surrey

Skiers in Boxhill
Image caption Snowboarders and skiers enjoyed the snow at Boxhill in Surrey

Police in Surrey have urged motorists not to drive unless it is an emergency following further heavy snow.

Officers said roads remained "treacherous" after about 6in (15cm) of snow fell overnight and about 2in (5cm) fell throught the day.

Supt Alan Sharp, of Surrey Police, said: "It is very high risk to be on the roads."

East Surrey Hospital has issued an appeal for people with 4x4 vehicles to help get staff to and from work.

A spokeswoman said services were currently severely restricted.

Surrey Police said the M25, A3, A22, A217 and A31 Hogs Back faced major disruption.

Mr Sharp said: "People should not assume the situation will improve very quickly. It is inevitable that we are going to take longer to get to incidents.

"Staff are working really hard but they are dealing with very difficult and dangerous conditions."

The force has also appealed for help tracing 87-year-old Eric Burley, from Ewhurst, who has not been seen since Tuesday.

Image caption Eric Burley has not been seen since he visited hospital on Tuesday

He failed to return home after visiting Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford at about 1500 GMT.

Officers said he had been driving a red Nissan Primera with the registration number N481 HKX.

Det Insp Matt Durkin said: "We're asking the community to help us locate this vehicle.

"If they can check whether any stationary parked cars match the description of the red Primera I would urge them to do so."

'Dangerous conditions'

Surrey County Council said a fleet of 41 gritters had covered more than 4,000 miles of road so far this week in a bid to help keep motorists moving.

Southern Railways said most of its services south of East Croydon had been suspended because of the weather.

A spokesman said: "Due to heavy snowfall and adverse weather conditions, all Southern services are currently suspended."

At least 225 schools in the county were closed because of the conditions.

Lingfield Park said it had abandoned Thursday's racing because of the snow while Sandown Park, in Surrey, has been forced to abandon Friday's race day.

Image caption Some cars have been abandoned as snowfall continues across the country

A spokesman for Frimley Park Hospital said services were running as usual and advised patients with appointments to attend.

South East Coast Ambulance Service said its staff were severely hampered by the snowy conditions.

Director of Operations Sue Harris said: "We are now focusing our efforts on getting to those patients who need us the most."

Guildford Borough Council said it had contacted everyone who received community care to make sure they had enough hot food and medication.

It said its staff had also been clearing snow from the paths at day centres.

The UK has been experiencing the earliest widespread snowfall since 1993.

BBC South East Today's weather forecaster Kaye Forster said: "It looks like the worst is behind us now.

"A few flurries continuing this evening, but it won't amount to much more.

"They will become confined to the east coast and will eventually die away by the end of the night."

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