Red warning triggered as Storm Emma hits UK

“Is your journey really necessary?” authorities ask as they urge citizens to think twice before travelling

While the freezing temperatures caused by the Beast from the East weather system continue to create travel chaos around the United Kingdom, the country is facing yet another wintery challenge as Storm Emma rolls in from the Atlantic.

Because the two storms may collide, the Met Office has issued a red warning – the highest level – for parts of central Scotland.

“A spell of heavy snow and blizzard conditions is expected. The snow will be accompanied by very strong easterly winds, leading to severe drifting,” the Met Office said. Over 40 cm of snow is expected to fall.

“Some places could also see significant ice build up due to freezing rain from later on Thursday evening, most likely in the south of the area. Long delays and cancellations of public transport seem highly likely.

“Some roads are likely to become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers. Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are very likely to occur, along with damage to trees and other structures due to heavy snow or ice.”

The weather disrupted travel plans for thousands of people.

Hundreds of motorists were stranded at the M80 near Glasgow for 13 hours overnight because of heavy snow, which has led the authorities to urge people not to travel.

Traffic Scotland is warning of “multiple vehicles losing traction in severe weather conditions” and telling motorists: “Thinking of getting in your car? Ask yourself ‘Is my journey worth risking lives for? If not, stay put and #staysafe’.“

British Airways offers to rebook affected short-haul flights out of UK for free

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions. The country’s worst-affected airport is Heathrow. Almost around 200 flights have been proactively cancelled.

British Airways has cancelled 150 flights, while Virgin Atlantic has grounded transatlantic flights to Miami, Boston, Washington DC and Seattle. EasyJet has cancelled dozens of arrivals and departures at Gatwick and Luton.

Railways have been heavily affected. According to National Rail, there is currently no service between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

The Red Cross has delivered camp beds and blankets to airports in case passengers need to stay overnight due to flight cancellations caused by the weather conditions.

Despite the fact that travellers are not entitled to obtain cash compensations for their cancelled journeys, passengers of British Airways will have the opportunity to rebook their flights for free.

The BBC Today show reported that all short-haul passengers booked on a BA flight out of the UK over the next four days could rebook for later in the month, even if their flight has not yet been cancelled.

Other carriers have a duty of care to provide meals and, if necessary, overnight accommodation to stranded travellers.