Cumbria police have declared a major incident and warned against unnecessary journeys after heavy snowfall on the county’s roads, as freezing conditions hit the UK.
Police said a “multi-agency response” is under way, with reports of cars stuck in traffic and some roads in the South Lakes area impassable due to the snow.
Cumbria police said the M6 southbound between junctions 38 and 37 was blocked due to jackknifed lorries and that the A595 between Millom and Furness was impassable.
National Highways said it was also dealing with a large number of stranded vehicles on Saturday evening, particularly on the M6 between junctions 38 and 40.
Supt Andy Wilkinson said: “We are working at pace, to help clear roads so those currently affected can get moving.
“I would urge anybody considering travelling in Cumbria tonight, to only do so if necessary. The cold temperatures forecast will make road conditions even more difficult.”
An amber warning for snow covering large sections of south and west Cumbria remains in place until midnight.
The Met Office has issued yellow warnings through Saturday for the northern coast and south-west of Scotland, as well as the south-west and the eastern coast of England. There is another yellow weather warning for snow and ice from 6pm to 12pm on Sunday covering much of the Midlands, Yorkshire, the north-east and north-west England, and north and central Wales.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), National Highways said there was heavy snowfall across parts of north-west England on Saturday night, with the M6 in Cumbria between junction 38 and junction 39 particularly affected.
“Our Traffic Officers, snow ploughs & gritters will be working to keep you moving,” the agency’s tweet read.
Flights from Glasgow airport resumed after dozens of planes were grounded on Saturday morning as temperatures dropped to -10C (14F) in parts of the UK.
Snow at the airport prompted staff to work through the night to ensure flights went ahead, but passengers with early flights still faced cancellations. Two flights bound for Glasgow had to be diverted to Prestwick and Edinburgh airports.
“Our runway is now fully operational again and we are working with our airline partners and their handlers to resume flight schedules,” the airport said on X at 10.20am on Saturday, telling passengers to contact their airlines for further information.
The temperature approached -10C in some places overnight, with Shap in Cumbria reaching a low of -9.4C. Temperatures are predicted to fall over the weekend, with several sporting events cancelled because of snowfall and icy conditions.
Annie Shuttleworth, of the Met Office, said it would be -3C or -4C for many towns and cities on Saturday. “There’ll … be some snow showers continuing across south-western Scotland throughout Saturday morning, mainly falling over the high ground above 100 or 200 metres, but there could be some sleetiness (sic) to lower levels across parts of the Lake District, for example, by lunchtime.
“Elsewhere, though, we’ll see the mist and fog slowly clear, it could remain quite murky for a lot of the morning across central and eastern areas. The best sunshine will be across northern areas of Scotland, but farther south and west, you can see things starting to change a little bit (by Saturday afternoon) with a greater risk of some showers.”
She said temperatures in south-west England would slowly rise through Saturday as winds shifted to more south-westerly. “Elsewhere, though, still feeling bitterly cold, not much above freezing,” she added.
“Those showers in the south-west then do push farther inland throughout Saturday night, and as they bump into the colder air, they could bring some snow to parts of Wales and central areas such as the Peak District, for example. There is a little of uncertainty with that one, but it’s only likely to bring a little dusting of snow by Sunday morning.”
The areas with the most snow on Friday were Aviemore, in the Scottish Highlands, with 5cm; Albemarle, Northumberland, 2cm; Bingley, West Yorkshire,2cm; and Loftus, North Yorkshire, 1cm.
Sporting fixtures have also been affected by the inclement weather. Crewe’s match with Bristol Rovers in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday has been called off and rearranged for 12 December after the playing surface was deemed unsafe.
Eleven Scottish Professional Football League matches have also been postponed, including Dundee United’s trip to face Morton at Cappielow and the game between Ayr and Arbroath at Somerset Park.
Saturday’s high-profile racing fixture at Newcastle, which was due to stage the return of Constitution Hill, has been abandoned due to snow on the track.
The UK Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued amber cold health alerts in five regions: the east Midlands, West Midlands, north-west, north-east and Yorkshire and the Humber until 5 December, meaning “cold weather impacts are likely to be felt across the whole health service for an extended period of time”.