Worst snow in years to cause commuter chaos

Steve Dinneen
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LONDON transport will be put to the test today as it strains to cope with some of the worst weather to hit the capital in years.

The Met Office issued an emergency weather warning for the whole of the UK saying London and the Home Counties would be the worst affected.

Forecasters predicted that more than a foot of snow could fall in these areas in less than 24 hours.

The amount of snow forecast could be the biggest single fall since 1962-63, when some areas of the country faced blizzard conditions for almost three months.

West London, including Heathrow and Ealing, were particularly hard hit but snow continued to fall across the city throughout the night.

The Met Office warned commuters they faced transport delays lasting well into the evening as companies struggled to plough through the downfall.

A BAA spokeswoman warned there could be delays at Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow and snowploughs were clearing the runways last night.

She said: “There are likely to be some delays and destination airports could be affected.”

The Association of Train Operating Companies also said delays will affect commuters throughout the day.

Lines from London to the Home Counties are likely to be hardest hit and only a “limited number of services” would arrive in London in time for businesses to open shop.

Drivers were advised not to venture out unless their journey was absolutely essential and councils warned they could run out of grit if the conditions failed to improve. Schools across the south were last night expected to be closed. The snow is expected to continue until late this afternoon.