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Flights hit in Britain as snow and ice causes disruption


A British Airways aircraft takes off after snowfall at Heathrow airport in London. Reuters

London:More than 175 flights were cancelled at London Heathrow Airport on Monday as snow and ice caused widespread disruption to transport in Britain.Heathrow, one of the world's busiest airports, decided to cut its flight schedule by 10 percent, or 130 flights, in expectation of poor visibility later in the day, but more services were cancelled as the day wore on.

A Heathrow spokesman said: "The additional cancellations are because a number of airports elsewhere in Europe are experiencing problems so that has a knock-on effect for us."The number could rise as the day goes on."

Heathrow has invested £36 million (43 million euros, $57 million) in snow-clearing equipment and the runways were clear of snow on Monday.Flights were suspended at smaller regional airports in England after fresh snow fell overnight in northern and central England. No flights were possible at Manchester, East Midlands and Leeds Bradford airports.Under-sea train services between Britain and continental Europe were also hit, with Eurostar cancelling six trains linking London with Brussels and also Paris due to speed restrictions on the tracks in northern France.

The snow and ice gave pupils at 3,000 schools across Britain an extended weekend as they closed due to the hazardous conditions.

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