Big chill will return to much of UK


Seven people have now died as a result of the freezing conditions

Freezing temperatures will return to much of the UK following a temporary reprieve from the big chill.

After days of shivering and travel chaos for commuters, parts of the nation enjoyed a thaw on Saturday with snow and ice melting as the mercury rose slightly.

The change allowed travel operators to get Britain’s delay-hit transport network moving again.

After temperatures well below zero, London enjoyed a much improved 6C. But it will not last with weathermen warning that sub-zero temperatures will be back across Britain this week.

Billy Payne, of MeteoGroup, the Press Association’s weather arm, said: “Into next week temperatures drop away again and lots of areas could be struggling to reach zero degrees and there will be sharp frosts. It is still very cold into next week but from Wednesday onwards there could be a slight recovery.”

Though meteorologists believe much of Britain has had the worst of the snow, it will continue to fall in Scotland from Sunday onwards.

It emerged on Saturday that least seven people have died during the bleak weather. They included two men who were killed in a motorway crash on the M62 in Humberside and two teenage girls who died when their Peugeot 206 collided with a Royal Mail box van in Cumbria.

Earlier in the week two Cumbrian pensioners in Kirkby Stephen and Workington died after falling in their gardens where they spent hours lying in sub-zero temperatures until they were found and a good Samaritan who stopped his car to help a stranded motorist in the Yorkshire Dales was killed when he was struck by another vehicle.

Amid fears of essential supplies not getting through, the Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has temporarily relaxed restrictions on truckers’ working hours.

The nine-hour daily driving limit was raised to 10 hours for HGVs to help vital supplies of fuel, food and gritting salt be delivered.

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