Snow break eases Christmas travel

A slight break in the snow will be a relief to the millions of people who are travelling home before Christmas.

Road and rail routes are expected to stay relatively clear from snow, but a sharp frost will leave widespread ice on the ground, forecasters have warned.

Before starting their journey, drivers are urged to check they have adequate breakdown cover so that if they break down, they still get home in time for Christmas.

Some train passengers could also face delays, as three rail operators are due to cut their timetables by a quarter.

Remote areas of Scotland were expected to experience temperatures as low as minus 15C (5F) overnight, with most of the country unlikely to get above freezing in the day.

A slight flurry of snow is due in some areas, but most regions will escape heavy snowfall.

Matt Dobson, forecaster with PA's weather division MeteoGroup, said: "The cold air is not going anywhere fast.

"Away from the south east of England where the frost is going to be a lot slighter, there's going to be a very sharp frost.

"Parts of Northern Ireland could be getting close to another record-breaking temperature.

"The north-easterly wind will gradually ease off but it's still going to be blowing across eastern parts of England.

"We're still going to see a scattering of snow showers across Scotland and the eastern coast of England and there's also a chance of snow in western Ireland and south-west Scotland.

"Kent might well see one or two showers but apart from the North East, there is nowhere really getting significant amounts of snow.

"There's a lot of snow lying around out there so there's still a high risk of ice particularly at night."

He added there was a "small chance" of snow falling very early on Christmas Day across Kent, East Anglia and Lincolnshire with the highest chance of snowfall in Scotland.

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