Transport for London (TfL) has outlined “well-rehearsed” procedures to “keep the capital moving” ahead of expected snowfall in London and the south-east from tomorrow night.
It comes as the Met Office issues a yellow weather warning for “possibly heavy” snow developing overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday, with accumulations of up to 3cm expected across London and as much as 5cm or even 10cm on higher ground.
Ice is likely to cause disruption on roads as the snow clears, the weather office warned.
Forecasters expect a “small chance of travel delays on roads with some stranded vehicles and passengers, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel”, as well as a slight chance of power cuts and disruption to mobile coverage.
“We have well-rehearsed procedures in place in partnership with all London boroughs and the emergency services to keep the capital moving during any wintry weather,” a TfL spokesperson said.
“Across London, all transport agencies will be working around the clock to minimise any disruption on the Tube, bus, rail and road networks.”
TfL urged passengers to check for delays before they travel during cold and icy weather, adding that it “will keep the rail and strategic road networks open and running”. Those include key arterial roads, cycle routes and footways around bus and railway stations, hospitals and emergency services stations.
The so-called Red Routes, a 580km network of key roads, have a dedicated fleet of 39 road gritters fitted with ploughs to keep roads and pavements clear of snow and ice. Dedicated grit spreaders will ensure cycling routes remain safe.
Meanwhile, Network Rail is running eight heavy duty de-icer vehicles to clear train routes from London Waterloo all the down to the south coast.
South Western Railway will run its so-called “ghost trains” all night to clear tracks of snow and ice and spray passenger doors with de-icer.
Southeastern Railway has warned it may introduce an emergency winter timetable from later this week as the UK braces for cold weather.
The new timetable may come in from Thursday, causing changes to train times and making peak services busier than usual.
It said passengers would be notified of any timetable changes 24 hours in advance.
"When the mercury plummets, even the lightest dusting of snow or rain can freeze and insulate the electric rail," the train operator said. "This cuts power to our trains and stops them moving with any speed. By running the winter weather timetable we enable trains to stop and start less which means they are less likely to get stuck."
Forecasters expect another band of rain, sleet and snow to hit the south of England on Thursday.
Between 5cm and 10cm of snowfall will hit south and west Scotland, while some areas in north Wales, the east Midlands and southwest England will likely face a similar blanket of snow.