Heavy snow and bitter cold grip Britain

Dec. 17, 2010 at 8:57 AM
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LONDON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Heavy snow is snarling travel across Britain as the Christmas break begins, and heating oil prices are soaring in bitter cold, officials said Friday.

Up to 10 inches of additional snow is expected in parts of England in the next day, and twice as much on high ground in Scotland and Wales, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Flights were canceled at several airports Friday, along with some rail service as traffic was brought to a standstill, especially in Scotland.

Gavin Hill-Smith of the Automobile Association warned: ''There are horrendous driving conditions in some parts … with driving, drifting snow and bad ice making for possibly the worst driving conditions imaginable, even for experienced drivers. … The weather will undoubtedly cause disruption for people heading off for an early Christmas break."

Members of Parliament warned Thursday supplies of heating oil, used by 6 percent of British homes, are approaching "crisis" levels.

Energy Minister Charles Hendry said the government would work with suppliers to ration supplies to make sure customers get through the holiday period and warned that the situation could become "very serious."

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