The heaviest snowstorm Britain’s faced in almost 20 years has brought travel chaos to much of the country and Europe.Tens of thousands of commuters in the capital were warned not to try to make their regular journeys with the large flurries severely disrupting road, train and underground services. Scores of schools and offices were forced to close for the day while all flights in and our of Heathrow were cancelled for a while this morning before they resumed with long delays and cancellations. Some experts say the estimated cost to the capital could be as much as 54 million euros in lost productivity – a heavy price for a country in recession. The French capital experienced many of the same problems as snow brought major air, rail and road systems to a halt along with many popular tourist spots. With many of its roads rendered unusable, many drivers and bus passengers were forced to walk or seek taxis prepared to stay out on the roads. Flights to and from the French capital were also hit hard by delays and cancellations. The wintry conditions have also affected Spain and Italy where up to 20 people have been killed in accidents. Some forecasters say the weather will get worse with up to 20 centrimetres expected to fall in some areas of Europe later this week with freezing winds blowing in from Russia.
Heavy snow forces widespread closures across Europe