'Stay inside' plea as winter bites

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Tynemouth beach is covered in snow

Severe weather warnings are in place across the country with police in some areas urging people to stay indoors.

Icy roads were making for treacherous conditions, with widespread reports of cars sliding off the roads into ditches.

The Met Office was warning of heavy snow in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North East, with London and South East England also under threat.

Overnight temperatures across the UK plunged well below zero again, after a day when much of the country was badly disrupted by the earliest widespread snow for 17 years

Trawscoed in Wales saw the mercury dip to minus 10.2C, while Dalwhinnie in the Scottish Highlands recorded minus 8.2C, and Glasgow minus 3.5C.

In England, Chesham in Buckinghamshire was among the coldest places at minus 7C. And at Preston in Lancs the temperature fell to minus 5.8C.

Northumbria Police urged motorists to stay off the roads and revellers to dress in warm clothing. A spokesman said: “Anyone going outside should consider whether their journey is critical and if they must venture out should dress appropriately.”

The East of England Ambulance Service recorded a spate of traffic collisions, with cars skidding into ditches, lampposts, fences and fields.

An AA spokesman said: “It has been a very busy start to the morning. By 10am we were up to 2,800 breakdowns for the day, coming in at 900 every hour. On that basis we will probably exceed 12,000 by the end of the day, up 40% on a normal Saturday in November.”

Brendan Jones, of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the north easterly wind meant northern and eastern Scotland and the east coast of England were suffering the worst of the weather although next week the snow could reach further inland.

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