UK ‘prepares for worst’ with biggest snow dump since Beast from the East

Travel chiefs are "preparing for the worst" with 1,500 gritters and snowploughs on standby.

Temperatures plummeted to lows of -6.7 in Farnborough, Hampshire, today, making the country colder than Siberia as it experiences lows of -5.

The Met Office has forecast the biggest snowfall since last winter, with widespread ice and snow flurries predicted for most of the UK tomorrow.

There will be two inches of snow at low levels in the North, with higher ground seeing eight inches, and 16 inches predicted in Scotland.

Click here for the Met Office’s five-day forecast

The RAC forecast breakdowns to soar above 7,000 per day.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “We’re preparing for the worst. Motorists risk being caught out by this severe weather and being stranded in the snow. Pack a shovel, hot drinks, food and a blanket.”

Around 1,000 gritters in northern England and 500 in Scotland will tackle the freeze.

Network Rail will use 34 de-icing trains to keep tracks clear.

Airports in northern England have dozens of snowploughs on standby.

Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, which were shut by snow last winter, have a combined total of around 30 snow-clearing vehicles on standby.

Minister for Implementation Oliver Dowden said: “Our public services and emergency responders continue to prepare for severe weather.”

Local Government Association transport spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “Gritters are ready to be deployed instantly to make sure roads are open where possible.”

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “It looks like ‘Snow Saturday’ for the North, with the biggest snowfall since last winter’s Beast from the East.

“It’s bad news for Christmas shoppers – and the risk of snow will return in the run up to Christmas in the North.”

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