The United Kingdom has been struggling back to life as heavy-snowfalls which since last week were more prevalent in the Northern part took its toll on the South, causing mayhem and creating heavy stumbling block to business and social activities.
The city of London, having its share as snow blanketed it over the weekend has been battling to get things back to normal with Council workers and security services working itself out 24 hours to bring things back to normal.
The weekend of snowstorms crippled rail, road and air services, while commuters struggle to get back to work.
In london, transport chiefs said all roads were open after conditions were better than forecast overnight, but there was still rail and air travel disruption.
Tens of thousands of train passengers suffered delays, with services from the east into Liverpool Street worst hit. A broken-down train caused major delays on some long-distance mainline routes into Waterloo.
Network Rail and Southeastern, which bore the brunt of the weekend rail disruption, ran empty trains overnight to keep tracks clear. On the roads, the A4 flyover and M25 both closed for a time, triggering traffic queues, while ice warnings were issued.
After a difficult weekend, Heathrow suffered some delays and cancellations with aircraft and crew out of place, but officially ran a normal schedule.
Leon Daniels, Transport for London managing director of surface transport, said: “All of London’s strategic road network, and the capital’s other major routes, are open.
“We are running 100 per cent of buses with only one route with a minor diversion, trains are operating across all lines on the Tube, DLR and London Overground networks and 4,000 tonnes of grit have been spread across the roads.
“London is moving on this morning, and we will be out in force again throughout the day clearing snow, gritting strategic routes and keeping the Tube, DLR and London Overground networks running.”
On the Tube, a broken-down train at Mile End caused delays and Bakerloo line services were temporarily suspended after a train hit a piece of equipment believed to have been left on the track by engineers.
But there was anger that Saturday night’s snow, which cloaked parts of London in up to four inches, caused such huge disruption.
Only 753 flights out of 1,300 left yesterday from Heathrow, where the decision to scale back was taken on Friday, before a flake had fallen. A flight from Singapore suffered the worst delay – due to arrive in London at 5am today, it will now be in at 10pm tomorrow, 41 hours late.
Sixty per cent of Southeastern train services were delayed or cancelled yesterday, despite Network Rail’s new £40?million winter weather programme, while Jubilee and Central line Tube trains were delayed because of snow and ice.
At Heathrow Terminal 5 last night, BA’s website and helpline crashed under the strain of coping with delays. Passengers said staff clocked off at 7pm, meaning there was no way to arrange new flights.
The airline offered reimbursement for accommodation, food and transport.
Richard Scott of Heathrow operator BAA said: “Until you get some snow on the ground you can’t test your procedures to the absolute limit. We are pleased that they worked a lot better than they did a year ago but of course there is room for improvement.”
Though forecast freezing fog did not materialise, the Met Office said cancelling flights had been “a sensible precaution.”
Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers said the temperature could fall to -2C in London tonight, with further snow showers which would last for only a few hours and amount to less than half an inch.
She added: “It is going to be cold all week, but with some sunshine tomorrow. Ice will continue to be a risk throughout the week. February is historically the coldest month.”