As temperatures dropped to -10 degrees in some parts of the UK, snow blizzards caused travel chaos. Heathrow Airport cancelled hundreds of flights, train lines were frozen and covered in snow leaving passengers stranded, and motorists in several regions were caught out by the treacherous conditions. In the South East drivers had to sleep in their vehicles as the M25 and M40 became impassable mainly because of jack-knifed lorries. One group of youngsters travelling back from a music gig found themselves sleeping on a garage forecourt in their campervan all night waiting for the weather to subside.
James Knight, who was one of the group, said “We were returning from a gig near Bicester and as the weather got worse and worse we realised that we might be stranded. We passed a group of houses in the slow traffic and noticed a garage forecourt that was closed. We slipped in and just bedded down for the night. It was cold but better than being stuck on the road, we had to dig ourselves out though in the morning.”
Motoring assist companies reported record call outs over the weekend with one major firm saying they had over 40,000 emergency calls on Saturday alone. The Met Office and the Highways Agency have both warned drivers that conditions could be treacherous today and tomorrow with black ice being the major problem. In fact campervan insurance providers are expecting claims to show a significant increase in the remainder of February as weather forecasters predict the entire month could be cold with the high risk of snow and ice set to continue for the next few weeks.