Road conditions and closures today: Commuter chaos as 4ins of snow falls overnight in bone-chilling -15C freeze | The Sun

COMMUTERS faced travel chaos on the roads this morning as Britain faced freezing temperatures of -15C and 4ins of snow fell overnight.

The Met Office issued several yellow severe weather alerts due to the wintry conditions.

Roads in eastern and south-east England are among the worst hit.

National Highways is urging only "absolutely essential" travel on the roads in South East England on Monday.

Drivers on the M25 were stranded for several hours due to the UK's busiest motorway being closed in both directions between Junction 23 for South Mimms and Junction 25 for Waltham Cross, both in Hertfordshire.

National Highways said the carriageway will be "cleared and treated as soon as possible".

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Traffic service Inrix reported: “Snow on M25 in both directions between J23 A1(M) South Mimms and J28 A12 (Brentwood / Brook Street Roundabout).” 

Hertfordshire Police have been escorting gritting lorries to sections of the M25 that have been at a standstill for several hours.

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said there had been multiple reports of cars getting stuck on minor and major roads across the county overnight and the force also urged people not to travel.

In an update National Highways said the closed section of the M25 between Junction 23 for South Mimms and Junction 25 for Waltham Cross, both in Hertfordshire, has been reopened.

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It added: "The snow has been cleared, the road has been re-treated and all lanes are now open."

There are delays of up to 90 minutes on neighbouring stretches of the motorway.

Other roads in the area with long delays include the M11, M2, A21, A27 and A249, according to National Highways.

In Essex, both the police and fire service warned against anything other than essential travel and said that overnight they had had callouts to vehicles stuck in the snow which they had not been able to recover.

Essex Police said they were receiving a high number of emergency calls connected to crashes due to the adverse weather conditions.

In a post on social media, the force said: "If you are able to, please avoid using the roads under the current conditions.

"Due to the number of RTCs [road traffic collisions], recovery companies are under extra pressure and obviously unable to travel at usual speed, adding to the delay.

"This then means that we have fewer resources to respond to other emergency calls."

Sussex Police issued a warning for "treacherous" roads.

In a Twitter message, the force said: "There has been significant snowfall in some areas of #Sussex and the roads are expected to be icy and could be treacherous in places on Monday morning.

"With some school and road closures, only travel if you need to and if you do need to head out, please be prepared."

The AA advised motorists to adjust their driving to the freezing conditions.

Travellers in Kent also had to battle the snow and ice which caused severe problems in the county.

Rail operator Southeastern has urged people not to travel, warning it will be unable to provide replacement bus services if trains are cancelled.

Bus operator Arriva Kent has also warned of significant delays and cancellations.

Several rail lines have been shut, with Southeastern issuing a "do not travel" alert to passengers.

There was also major disruption to services run by Greater Anglia, South Western Railway and Southern.

Four children were taken to hospital in a critical condition after being rescued from a lake in Solihull in the West Midlands on Sunday afternoon after falling through ice.

Richard Stanton, area commander for West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, said: "We know that the weather forecast for the next few days is expected to be bitterly cold, please, adults and children alike, stay away from open water, under no circumstances venture on to ice regardless how thick or safe you think this ice may be."

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Gatwick and Stansted airports closed their runways on Sunday to clear snow.

This story will be updated frequently.

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