Gallery: Rail misery for commuters as snow sweeps parts of the county

A swan ventures around the boating lake in Harwich after snowfall

A swan ventures around the boating lake in Harwich after snowfall - Credit: Archant

COMMUTERS in Essex faced a day of rail chaos yesterday - even though the county escape the worst of the weather.

Essex Police reported few weather related accidents but rail commuters endured painful journeys with services to London being delayed or even cancelled.

Most of the overnight snow fell in the coastal areas of Harwich and Clacton, while Colchester and Chelmsford experienced very light snow showers.

As a result, Essex County Council (ECC) said only a handful of schools had announced they were closing early. Road networks in Essex remained largely unaffected.

Last night a spokesman for Essex Police said: “There have been very few road incidents in areas where there has been snow.

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“There were some collisions in the south of the county where vehicles skidded on ice, but as of now, it seems people have driven carefully and sensibly in the snowy conditions.

“We hope this continues during the forthcoming cold spell.”

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Stansted Airport reported no cancellations but air passengers were advised to check with their airlines because of heavy snow in other areas of Europe causing disruptions.

A spokesman for the airport said: “We’ve had light snow showers throughout the day but all flights are operating as normal.

“We will be closely monitoring the situation tonight and over the weekend and our snow teams continue to be on standby.”

However, ECC’s fleet of 60 road gritters worked throughout the night as more snow was forecast over the weekend.

Derrick Louis, cabinet member for highways said: “With more snow forecast, I advise residents to travel with extreme caution at this time, allowing extra time for their journeys and checking the latest weather and traffic updates before they travel.

“Our gritters have been doing a great job over the past few days, making sure our main road network is kept moving. We are constantly monitoring weather forecasts, and decisions on further gritting runs will be taken as required.”

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