Commuters hit by travel delays as snow falls in parts of Britain

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Commuters faced severe delays on Thursday morning after rail companies blamed icy conditions for cancelled services.

Southeastern halted some trains completely and warned of disruption to others but commuters were scornful of journeys being affected by a “tiny bit of ice”.

Snow fell in parts of South Wales amid a yellow warning for the region from the Met Office, which forecast between 0.8in (2cm) and (2.4in) 6cm.

Rain and sleet were also expected to affect driving conditions, including in the West Midlands.

Southeastern said on its website: “Freezing weather overnight has left icy conditions on the third rail, which is making it difficult for trains to draw power.

“Services running across the Southeastern network this morning may be delayed, cancelled or revised.”

But some people responded with frustration, with one telling the company “you didn’t prepare for a tiny bit of ice” and adding: “Incompetence of the highest level!”

Another commuter who was waiting for a train at Bromley South station, in south-east London, shared a picture of a departure board which showed delays to several services into London Victoria.

Departure board delays
A departure board at Bromley South station shows delays to several services after trains were cancelled during a cold snap (PA)

Overnight temperatures plunged to as low as minus 3.8C (25.2F)in Santon Downham in Suffolk.

The Met Office urged drivers to take care on icy stretches of road.

Forecaster Simon Partridge said snow also fell in parts of Scotland, while areas in south and south-west England were mainly hit by heavy rain, but predicted conditions would improve.

“There will be gradual improvement for most places,” he said. “It should be a much better picture (on Thursday afternoon) and things are also set to turn milder as we get to the next couple of days.”

Snow in South Wales on April 4 2019
People in South Wales woke up to snow on Thursday (@JacquelineHorr4/PA)

Central and southern parts of England could also see heavy thundery downpours throughout the day, while the best of the weather is likely to be across eastern England.

How late has it snowed in the UK?
(PA Graphics)

It comes as spring got off to a wintry start across many parts of the country this week, with hill snow, hail and sleet.

A “sudden microburst” of hail and snow caused a 24-car motorway pile-up, Lancashire Police said on Wednesday morning.

The M55 was closed in both directions but no-one was seriously injured, the force said.

Friday could see rain in the west and far north, with conditions being brighter elsewhere.

The weekend will feature drizzle in the east, with brighter spells in other parts of the country and conditions becoming warmer away from the east coast.

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