Travel chaos after the snow

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HUNDREDS of travellers were hit by travel chaos after the runway at Doncaster airport was blanketed by 7in of snow - and temperatures plunged to -7C.

Peel Airports staff in snowploughs battled to clear drifts from the huge runway, taxiway and apron at Robin Hood Airport, but were forced to admit defeat, announcing its closure just after 8pm on Saturday night.

Robin Tudor, spokesman for the airport at Finningley, said four flights were affected, with arrivals and departures diverted to Leeds Bradford and East Midlands airports.

Robin Hood reopened nearly 24 hours later at 4pm yesterday after contractors were hired to help shift the snow and underlying ice.

Mr Tudor said: “It was understandably frustrating for passengers.

“Staff put in a great effort to get the airport open as quickly as possible.

“We have been doing all we can. It is up to airlines to arrange transport to and from alternative airports in situations like this.”

A flight to Lanzarote and a flight from Poland were among those affected, he said.

Ice, freezing temperatures and abandoned cars were set to create nightmare travelling conditions for commuters across the borough today after snow blasted in on an icy wind at the weekend.

Thousands of side roads remained blanketed today - despite intensive gritting and snowplough operations - posing a major headache for drivers.

And although temperatures were forecast to rise as high as 5C today, weathermen warned bitterly cold nights will continue until at least Thursday, though no further snowfalls are expected.

Paul Mott, forecaster at Meteo Group, urged motorists and pedestrians to beware of icy patches.

Three people in Sheffield were hurt when the Land Rover they were in crashed into a wall in snow on Saturday.

The trio were carried out on spinal boards after firefighters cut the roof off the vehicle following the crash on Rutland Road, Burngreave, on Saturday, at about 11pm.