UK weather: Gale-force winds and snow cause travel chaos and hazardous conditions | UK News

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Gales and snow have caused disruption across the UK – with police experiencing “extremely high” numbers of calls – as winds of up to 65mph battered southern England. 

Motorists were warned to only travel where “absolutely necessary” in Essex, while Kent County Council urged drivers to take care on the roads in “difficult conditions”.

Police forces reported a number of road closures and delays due to the weather conditions.

The Queen Elizabeth II bridge across the Thames in Dartford was closed because of strong winds, while drivers faced delays on the M25 as traffic was filtered into Kent.

https://www.facebook.com/DWFRSDorchesterFireStation/photos/a.298588883676180/1094607514074309/?type=3&theater
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A shed was blown into a tree in Dorchester. Pic: Dorchester Fire Station

The bridge reopened at around 4pm, but Highways England warned of long delays in the area and said speed restrictions of 30mph were in place.

Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District was completely closed due to “hazardous weather conditions”, according to Cumbria Police.

Snow and ice has been reported in some parts of Cumbria and drivers have been warned to take care.

The Devon and Cornwall force tweeted: “Police receiving exceptional number of calls from right across Devon and Cornwall re fallen trees across roads this morning due to the high winds. Please reduce speed and be vigilant when driving.”

Snow in Yorkshire
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A car near Carlecotes in Yorkshire struggles in the snowy conditions

Essex Police said they had experienced “extremely high call demand” because of the weather.

In Surrey, the A25 in Nutfield was closed after power cables came down on to the road in the windy weather.

Workers remove fallen tree in London
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Clapham station, London – Workers remove fallen tree in London

The Woodhead Pass in the Pennines was closed following a collision and reports of snow, and the fast lane of the M1 between junctions 21 and 22 were declared “unsafe” due to snowfall.

Rail services also faced disruption, with some train companies forced to rely on replacement buses, as fallen trees were removed from lines.

Wanstead weather
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Wanstead, London – Several calls were made reporting downed trees. Pic: Amy Voce

Southeastern Railway reported five trees were discovered on rail lines – causing trains to be delayed, cancelled and diverted.

One passenger described how a train driver and conductor got off the train to remove tree branches from the tracks.

Amid the windy conditions, the wrapping on Grenfell Tower became dislodged as support group Grenfell United tweeted: “If you’re in area u may have noticed some damage to thewrapping on the tower this is because of strong winds.

“A team is onsite at the moment who will put a temp cover as soon as safe to do so before replacing damaged part later this week.”

Fallen tree in Wimbledon, London
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Wimbledon – Police said they were called out to a number of fallen trees

A gritter overturned in snowy conditions in Dumfries and Galloway, with the driver suffering only a minor injury when the vehicle came off the A76 near Mennock at around 8.20am.

The weather is expected to be calmer on Monday, but two further yellow weather warnings for wind are in place for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The first covers much of Northern Ireland and will begin at 3pm on Tuesday, lasting until midnight, while the second is in place for much of England from around midnight on Wednesday until 3pm.

Heavy showers are expected on both days and gusts of 50-55mph could be experienced across England, while Northern Ireland may see wind speeds of 60-70mph.





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