The Met Office has issued a second rare red “danger to life” alert for snow and ice, as people are warned to avoid all but essential travel on another day of sub-zero temperatures and “blizzard-like” conditions.
The highest possible extreme warning for parts of south Wales and the south west of England urges residents to “take action now to keep yourself and others safe” as Storm Emma, rolling in from the Atlantic, looks poised to collide with the “Beast from the East” weather front.
As another day of extreme weather left hundreds of drivers stranded overnight and more roads impassable in up to a foot of snow in Scotland and the north of England, further widespread accumulations are expected to bring up to 40cm (15in) in some areas.
Although a red alert for central Scotland remains in place until 10am on Thursday, police said everyone barring emergency workers should avoid all travel until weather conditions improve. Hundreds of schools remain closed across Britain.