Much of Europe remains in the grip of the harshest winter in years with heavy snowfalls and plunging temperatures across the continent. The north of Italy has been hit by unusually severe snow storms, causing chaos to road, rail and air transport. Airports in the region have either been closed for a time or are running very limited services. In the south east of France 18 local authorities have declared extreme weather alerts.Road transport has been particularly hard hit with a number of motorways closed. Some road users are losing patience. “We’ve become so cautious….it’s really stupid,” complained this lorry driver stuck in traffic. South of the border in Spain, conditions are no better. Hauliers are having to contend with treacherous mountain roads in the north. “We have to wait for word to continue. You have to be patient and wait here,” said a truck driver waiting at a road stop. The heavy snow has been welcomed, however, by organisers of the Winter Olympics in Turin which start in just under two weeks.