Motorists warned over icy roads

Heavy snow and ice has led to more travel misery with motorists being warned to take extra care on slippery roads.

As the UK braces itself for what could be the coldest winter in 30 years, forecasters warned of treacherous roads after melting snow re-froze overnight.

The snow caused chaos on the roads and at airports, with Wales and the central England seeing the worst of the cold weather, and Manchester Airport was closed while snow was cleared from the runways.

Heavy snow also shut the A616 linking Sheffield and Manchester, the Highways Agency said.

Forecasters warned the freezing temperatures and persistent heavy snowfall have meant this winter is shaping up to be the coldest since the late 1970s.

Rob Hutchinson, forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There is a 95% chance that the period will have been the coldest since the winter of 1978/79".

Winter temperature as a whole is measured in a three-month block.

Forecasters said they would only be able to confirm if this winter was the coldest for 30 years at the end of this month.

Copyright © Press Association 2010