Get ready for a grey Christmas

  • Get ready for a grey Christmas
    24.12.2008 09:48

    A white Christmas will remain a dream this year with Britain's skies expected to be filled with clouds but no snow.

    The temperature is expected to fall from a slightly above average 7-6C tomorrow to around 6-7C on Christmas Day.

    Paul Mott, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said there was "no chance" of a white Christmas for most Britons.

    "It will turn a bit colder on Boxing Day with temperatures of around 3-4C with a biting easterly wind," he added.

    The forecast means that the only Britons likely to see snow this Christmas will be those who have flown off to ski resorts abroad.

    Around three million people people are heading abroad this festive season, many looking for either snow or sunshine.

    Those staying in Britain kept the roads busy yesterday with heavy traffic on the M25 in Essex and Buckinghamshire, the A303 in Wiltshire and Devon, the M6 in Staffordshire, the A1M in County Durham, the A628 in Greater Manchester and A27 in West Sussex.

    Roadworks remain in place at a number of sites, including a busy section of the M1 in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, but the Highways Agency which is responsible for England's motorways and major A Roads, has completed a number of roadwork schemes in time for Christmas and suspended work on others.

    There are no main line rail services tomorrow except for airport express services.

    Only a few trains will run on Boxing Day to the annoyance of more than 30 MPs who have tabled a cross-party Commons motion calling for more Boxing Day bus and train services.

    John Grogan, MP for Selby, who tabled the motion said, "It is good news that this year all six Metropolitan Transport Passenger Authorities and Transport for London will be running some bus services on Boxing Day which shows there is passenger demand.

    "Progress has been made because before 2002, when an experiment was started in the West Midlands, there were no buses running outside of London on Boxing Day.

    "Sadly, very little progress has been made opening up the rail network on December 26. Many people will, as a result, be unable to attend sporting fixtures, the sales or family events."

    Those who plan the rail network after Christmas should check that trains are running as engineering work is affecting services on a number of lines.

    Network Rail is hoping to avoid the chaotic scenes last new year where three engineering projects overran and the company was fined a record GBP14 million.

    By: Peter Woodman