LONDON – Heavy snowfall that fell overnight across parts of the United Kingdom has led to school and closures as well as disrupted rail services and flight cancellations.
Bristol Airport in southwestern England warned of interruptions to its flight schedules that would continue through Friday afternoon due to the abundant amount of snow that was falling.
“Due to continued adverse weather, the majority of flights have been canceled for today,” Bristol Airport tweeted, adding that it hoped to resume regular operations on Saturday.
The airport was urging passengers to contact their airlines to find out the status of their flight and acknowledged the inconvenience caused by the cancellations but said safety was paramount.
British Airways said it had canceled some early long-distance flights to and from London’s Heathrow Airport due to the adverse weather.
The transport hub later said in a tweet it was prepared for the wintry conditions and its runways and taxiways were “open and fully operational” but still advised travelers to check with their carriers on the status of flights.
Wales and southeastern English were the areas of the UK that were hit heaviest by snowfall, where many schools were closed for the day.
The Met Office, the UK’s national weather service, was warning the public to “take extra care” while traveling in icy conditions.
The service also warned of further snow showers that would continue through Saturday.
“Some roads and railways likely to be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services in areas where snow continues for a time Friday afternoon and evening,” the Met Office said on its website as part of a weather warning.
In the southwesternmost English county of Cornwall, over 100 motorists ended up spending the night in a pub that arranged makeshift beds for those stranded on the A30 highway by the conditions.
Rail operator Southeastern said it was operating on its winter weather timetable, warning that trains would not be running at their usual times and some services would be busier than normal.
Other parts of Western Europe have been experiencing adverse weather, with Storm Gabriel bringing rain, snow and wind to parts of France, Spain and Portugal, according to weather forecasting services.