Drivers warned over 'coldest day'

Drivers are being warned of hazardous conditions on what is traditionally the coldest day of the year as thick snow and a lack of grit affects roads across the UK.

The South of England and Wales were waking up to snow on St Hilary's Day, which is reputed to be the chilliest day of the year according to folklore.

The snow, though not as heavy as last week, is still expected to cause problems for motorists.

However, after the freezing start to the year it will feel relatively warm in some places, with the mercury expected to rise to 9C in south-west England.

In most areas temperatures will range between OC and 3C.

The latest snowfall comes as the Government demanded further cuts in gritting.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis announced on Tuesday that gritting must be cut to as little as half the levels of this time last week to conserve stocks for further wintry weather.

The announcement came as local councils said ice had caused a higher than usual number of potholes with some estimating repair bills running into millions.

Billy Payne, forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association said: "The snow will fall over South West England and Wales before gradually moving north east to affect the Midlands and South East England."

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