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Freezing weather hits UK travellers

Snowy rural road12/12/12

Holidaymakers, drivers and rail commuters have all been frustrated by delays as freezing temperatures ravaged parts of the country.

Although the bitterly cold temperatures, dubbed the 'Beast from the East' by some media outlets, are expected to subside by Friday, they will be replaced by heavy rain.

Tulloch Bridge in the Highlands was the coldest area in the country, with temperatures failing to creep any higher than -10.2C.

Chesham, in Buckinghamshire (-9C) and Little Rissington in Gloucestershire (-8C) were among the coldest overnight spots.

Matt Dobson, a senior forecaster at MeteoGroup,the weather division of the Press Association, explained that places with lingering fog would struggle to get above freezing.

Fog in particular was a problem in London before it lifted during the morning, with Heathrow Airport having to cancel over 60 flights, including journeys to Nice, Aberdeen, Warsaw, and Stockholm.

London City Airport also had to keep six flights grounded as the temperatures of -10C wreaked havoc.

A Heathrow spokeswoman explained that services started to return to normal between 9am to 10am as visibility improved.

She also explained that there had been a series of delays along with the cancellations and a number of other European airports have also been affected by adverse weather conditions.

Due to these domestic and overseas delays, she added there would be a knock-on effect throughout the day.

Meanwhile, on the the roads there was major disruption on a number of main routes, with the A1(M) being closed between junctions 39 and 40 in Yorkshire.

The trouble also spread to the nation's rail networks, with commuters travelling between Bedford and Luton during rush hour suffering 50-minute delays.

A broken-down train caused delays at Watford Junction in Hertfordshire, while electrical supply issues created problems between Seaford and Lewes in East Sussex and a signalling failure created a backlog at Brighton station.

North of the border the weather conditions also caused rail disruptions, with a stranded train at Bathgate creating delays between Edinburgh and Airdrie.

In the capital there were a host of delays on the Tube, with the Metropolitan line hit by serious delays between Rickmansworth and Amersham and minor disruptions elsewhere along that route.

A signal failure at Woodside Park also caused serious problems on the Northern Line between High Barnet and Finchley Central.

A similar problem at Arnos Grove in north London created backlogs on the Piccadilly line between there and Cockfosters.

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