Snow and ice disrupt transport across Europe

Snow, U.S., snowstorm

Germany and the Netherlands have seen transport disrupted as heavy snowfall and icy temperatures gripped parts of central and northern Europe.

The weather led to a delay for the return of Dutch children to school following a coronavirus lockdown.

Lorries got stuck in snowdrifts overnight on the A4 highway near Gera in eastern Germany, while part of the A7 near Goettingen in northern Germany was closed after trucks became stuck on uphill stretches, news agency dpa reported.

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said services remained suspended across parts of central and northern Germany, with no long-distance trains running north-east from Frankfurt, west from Berlin or south-west from Hamburg.

Dutch railway operator NS said a “very limited service” was expected in the Netherlands.

Heavy snow overnight also impacted transport in the Czech Republic. International trains faced hours of delays while numerous commuter trains to Prague had to be cancelled. Trams and buses in the capital were also disrupted.

The D1 motorway that links Prague with the country’s second largest city, Brno, was blocked in several places by lorries, while an accident halted traffic on the D8 leading from Prague to Germany.

Monday was supposed to be the day hundreds of thousands of Dutch children returned to their schools after a tough coronavirus lockdown that began before the Christmas holidays.

Instead, for many, it was another day at home as a snowstorm that hit the Netherlands on Sunday disrupted travel around the nation.

Rien Spies, a board member of an organization that runs 24 schools near Amsterdam, said those schools would remain closed on Monday “because the expectation was for chaos on the roads and public transport”.

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