Gallery: Worst snow for 18 years

HEAVY snow has swept across Suffolk and Essex, resulting in major school closures and traffic problems.

HEAVY snow has swept across Suffolk and Essex, resulting in major school closures and traffic problems.

More than 130 schools were closed in Suffolk and 400 in Essex as the region woke to an Arctic blast.

Nationwide, it was the worst snowfall to hit the country in 18 years, with London's transport network particularly badly affected. All bus services were withdrawn and the London Underground was largely out of action. Airports temporarily closed runways while they tried to clear the snow.

And forecasters have said there could be more snow to come later.

With many schools closed, children and some parents were making the most of an unexpected day off and enjoyed sledging in parks, including Christchurch Park in Ipswich and Castle Park in Colchester.

However, Suffolk Police has urged motorists to take care on the county's roads.

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Chief Inspector Mike Bacon, from the Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, says: “It is inevitable that the snowy weather will make driving more hazardous, but there are a few simple precautions that any driver can take.

“Only undertake necessary journeys and keep an eye on the weather forecast. If you have to go out, take a fully charged mobile phone and emergency clothing and warm drinks. Ensure that you have plenty of fuel, and if you can, put a shovel and some matting in the boot. You may not need them, but together with a vacuum flask and a warm coat, they can make all the difference if you do get stuck.

“Make sure your vehicle is up to scratch, with well maintained lights and tyres and carry de-icer. Importantly don't drive until the windscreen is free from snow, frost or mist.

“Allow more time for your journey with additional stops en route, as winter driving tends to be more demanding. And if there are poor weather conditions and visibility, remember to slow down and use dipped headlights.”

Met Office forecasters said the last time the UK saw such widespread snowfall was in February 1991 and that a large area of sleet and snow showers was now moving out of France and heading towards the UK.

It was expected to reach London by 3pm before moving across East Anglia this evening.

"And we're going to get more," she said.

"There are a lot of showers still coming in from the North Sea.'

More than 60 flights were cancelled and others grounded due to the ongoing bad weather that has crippled operations at Stansted Airport.

Airport operators BAA advised passengers to check with their airlines about flights taking off later today and allow for extra travel time if heading to the airport.