FLIGHTS have been cancelled and towns evacuated due to a ‘polar maritime airmass’ hitting the UK.
Heathrow Airport has pre-emptively cancelled 80 flights while at Gatwick four were cancelled.
A BA spokeswoman announced : “We’re sorry that some of our customers’ travel plans have been affected due to the forecast snow at Heathrow, which will lead to a reduction in the number of aircraft which can land or take off from the airport.
“For safety reasons, Heathrow airport, air traffic control and all airlines have agreed to operate a reduced schedule to help mitigate the effects of the snow, which is likely to fall throughout Thursday afternoon and early evening.
“We are refunding or rebooking any affected customers on to alternative flights so they can continue their journeys as soon as possible. Customers on some flights can also choose to travel on alternative dates even if their flight is still scheduled to operate.”
55 flood alerts have been issued in coastal areas; more than 3,000 residents on the Lincolnshire coast have been advised to leave and the areas of Jaywick, Mistley Manningtree, Colchester and Mersea in Essex have been evacuated.
Essex County Council said its main concern was the tide at 1pm on Friday.
An estimated eight inches of snow is expected to fall around the UK which is expected to cause widespread disruption on the roads.