Travel chaos to last for days as Britain freezes upPA

The snowfall may have stopped for now, but forecasters are warning that the big freeze has set in, turning snow to ice and causing hazardous travel conditions.

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings across much of England and Wales, with a possibility of only a partial thaw. Freezing conditions will last well into mid-week, with temperatures staying at between 0C and -3C in eastern and south east England and Scotland.

To add to this, forecasts of showery rain will increase the risk of ice.

Travel chaos to last for days as Britain freezes upPA

Snow and ice have already caused mass disruptions across the country. Snow ploughs had to rescue more than 100 vehicles which became stranded for several hours on the M40 at junction nine at Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Huge tailbacks were experienced on motorways including the M25, where traffic reached a standstill and motorists were forced to spend the night in their cars after remaining stuck for seven hours.

The AA and the RAC are urging motorists to stay at home to avoid the treacherous road network. The AA reported a total of 15,000 callouts on Saturday alone - double its usual number. Most involved flat batteries.

Heathrow Airport cancelled 50 per cent of its flights on Sunday, and thousands of angry passengers faced long delays at the airport.

Originally, airport bosses cancelled one third of flights - nine house before the snow started - but more were cancelled in anticipation of freezing fog.

Despite this, Heathrow claims that its snow plan has worked far better than in previous years, says a report The Guardian. The airport says that a normal flight schedule will resume at the beginning of the week.

Extra staff have been drafted in to help passengers re-book, and runways and taxiways have been cleared of snow.

Travel chaos to last for days as Britain freezes upPA

Parts of the London underground were also disrupted. One Central Line train broke down completely, and passengers had to walk along the tracks to South Woodford after their train broke down near Snaresbrook.

The Met Office is predicting icy mornings for most of the week, with mist and fog expected in many areas.

Travel chaos to last for days as Britain freezes up

In pictures: Winter 2012

View all 22 gallery images

How have you been affected by the freezing weather? Tell us your stories below

Sign up to our weekly newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook