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WEATHER

Schools closed and transport suspended as snow hits northern France

Large parts of northern France, including Paris, woke up to a covering of snow on Wednesday, with schools closed and roads blocked.

Schools closed and transport suspended as snow hits northern France
Photo: AFP

Snow fell overnight across northern France, from the Belgian border to Brittany, via the greater Paris Île-de-France region, which saw between 1cm and 4cm of snow.

 

Authorities in the départements of Yvelines, Essonne and Val d'Oise suspended all classes and moved to distance learning, although schools will provide a minimum service for pupils who cannot stay home.

School transport has been suspended in the greater Paris départements of Yvelines, Essonne, Val d'Oise and Seine-et-Marne.

In Paris, police advised people to avoid taking the roads as much as possible and the N118 is closed to all traffic, while vehicles heavier than 7.5t are banned from major routes across the Île-de-France region.

Bus and train transport in the region is disrupted, but Metro and tram services were reported as running normally.

 

Roads are also closed in Brittany, which has seen falls of 10cm in some areas.

 

Around 200 lorries are blocked on the N12 between Brest and Rennes. Another 50 lorries are blocked on the N164 near Carhaix and drivers are advised to travel only if their journey is vital.

In total 36 départements are on orange alert for snow, ice and very cold temperatures, they are; Finistère, Morbihan, Côtes-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Mayenne, Sarthe, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret, Yonne, Côte-d'Or, Doubs, Territoire de Belfort, Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, Vosges, Haute-Soâne, Aube, Seine-et-Marne, Orne, Calvados, Manche, Essonne, Yvelines, Paris, Val-d'Oise, Eure, Haut-Marne, Ain, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Hauts-de-Seine, Somme, Pas-de-Calais, Nord and Aisne. The alert is in place until 6am on Thursday.

Temperatures are forecast to remain very cold across northern France until the weekend.

 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

Sweden's state-owned rail company SJ cancelled several train services on Tuesday as a result of the snowy weather, while forecasters warned that roads could still be slippery in many regions.

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

SJ is cancelling several regional trains on Tuesday between Stockholm and Uppsala, Stockholm and Västerås, and Gävle and Linköping at the request of the Swedish Transport Administration, which wants to free up space on the tracks. 

At the same time, weather forecaster SMHI warned that, while snowfall would decrease over the day, there would still be a risk of slippery roads in many areas.

“It’s still continuing to snow, but the intensive snowfall we are now warning about will come to an end during the day, starting in the south of the country,” state meteorologist Angelica Lundberg told the TT newswire.  “Over the coming days there may be an increased risk of slipping and this is the case most of all close to the coast.” 

Bengt Olsson, press officer for the Swedish Transport Administration, told SVT that the disruptions seen on Sunday and Monday looked likely to ease off on Tuesday. 

“It’s a bit calmer so far. There’s another type of road surface to day. It’s starting to freeze up a but. There’s a lot of crust from the snow and patches of ice out on the road, so its the risk of skidding that we are trying to deal with today.”

The slippery roads have led to some busses being cancelled, with Dalatrafiken, the bus operator in Dalarna, cancelling several regional bus services. 

Buses parked at the Keolis bus depot in Värtahamnen cruise terminal in Stockholm.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Stockholm’s transport operator SL suspended the Lindingöbanan Light-railway line on Tuesday morning, and has also reduced some commuter train services. In Söderort, Huddinge and Botkyrka all bus services have been cancelled. 

“The measures taken to prevent skidding aren’t working,” SL’s press spokesperson Andreas Strömberg told SVT. “At Juliaborg in Huddinge six of our buses got stuck, so the traffic controllers decided to cancel all further services so we can get in snow ploughs.

Snow was continuing to fall on Tuesday over much of central Sweden, and SMHI has issued the lowest “yellow” weather warning for Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro, Dalarna, and the north of Värmland. 

In most places, there is now between 5cm-15cm of snow, with 20cm in some places. 

 
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