Warning not to travel as freezing temperatures, snow and floods hit UK | UK weather

The public has been urged to travel only if “absolutely essential” in some parts of the country as the UK was hit by freezing weather, snow and flooding.

Yellow and amber weather warnings were in place in many areas on Tuesday, with the Met Office predicting snow showers and ice were likely to cause disruption.

Avon and Somerset police said it was advising the public to “only travel if essential” after receiving more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours.

Fifty-three road traffic collisions were reported to police between 6-11pm on Monday, the majority a result of the freezing weather conditions.

On Tuesday morning, a serious incident was declared after a doubledecker bus carrying 70 passengers overturned on the A39 in Somerset.

Supt Mark Runacres said: “We are advising the public to only travel where absolutely essential due to the treacherous driving conditions. If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution and allow additional time to travel.”

The Met Office said Monday night was the UK’s coldest of the year so far, with lows of -9.8C recorded.

An amber weather warning for heavy snow is in place for parts of eastern Scotland from 3pm on Tuesday afternoon, while yellow warnings for snow and ice covered most of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the south coast of England and north Wales.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency (EA) said its officers were working around the clock to protect homes and businesses along the River Severn, with more than 25 flood warnings in place across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Across England, there were 91 flood warnings in place on Tuesday, meaning flooding is expected, with East Sussex, the Isle of Wight and other areas in south-east England predicted to be affected.

The EA said rivers in the West Midlands and north-east England were likely to remain high for the next four days and could lead to further flooding.

The Met Office has warned that all of England will experience cold weather until 9am on Friday 20 January.

Jason Kelly, the chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Cold, icy and sometimes snowy conditions are in the forecast this week with the UK seeing more of a north-westerly regime, with temperatures well below average for the time of year. Wintry showers are likely at points through the week in the north of England.”

The UK Health Security Agency has also encouraged people to stay warm and look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.

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