Snow and ice disrupt schools, roads and trains in Wales

Heavy snow has caused widespread disruption to schools, roads and rail services in mid and north Wales for a second day.

A Met Office yellow warning for snow was in place until about midday as the Arctic blast continued to hit the UK.

A further yellow warning for ice until 10:00 GMT on Saturday warns of temperatures as low as -11C (12F).

More than 350 schools were closed on Friday and people were urged to avoid travelling.

Sixty-two homes in Merthyr Tydfil lost power on Friday morning but this has since been restored.

Meanwhile, SP Energy Networks also reported power cuts in the Mold area, at Carmel, Greenfield, near Holywell, in the Whitford area, Flintshire, and at Bwlchgwyn, near Wrexham.

Power repair team in Holywell
Repair team works to restore power in Holywell

Transport for Wales has suspended its trains between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno, and Shrewsbury and Llanelli via the Heart of Wales on Friday due to the weather.

The provider added that passengers were advised not to attempt travel.

Heavy snowfall led to the closure of several major roads on Friday, but traffic conditions improved throughout the day.

The A458 remains closed in both directions at Buttington, Powys, from the Buttingdon roundabout to Halfway House.

A section of the A55 was closed earlier but has since re-opened, Traffic Wales said.

North Wales Police said it was "advising motorists to only travel if necessary" on Friday morning.

"We are experiencing a high number of calls, please be patient and only use the 999 line in an emergency," the force added.

It is estimated some areas could see up to 30cm (12in) of snow, with a snow depth of 27cm (10.6in) at Capel Curig, Conwy county, the greatest depth so far recorded in the UK.

At 09:00, Met Office weather stations recorded 16cm (6in) of snowfall in Lake Vyrnwy, Powys, 5cm (1.9in) in Hawarden, Flintshire and Bala, Gwynedd, and 4cm (1.5in) in Sennybridge, Powys.

At Llanrwst, Conwy county, paramedic Tom McLay skied to his job in the town's ambulance station from his home in Capel Curig about 9 miles (14kms) away.

Lynda Jones, who owns Fronheulog Caravan Park in Lake Vyrnwy, said she was "so glad" the caravan site is shut until 1 April.

The site homes sheep and two horses, which she admitted were lapping up the snow.

"They love it because they're so young - they're out in the snow playing, they're like little kids," she said.

Sheep playing in snow at Fronheulog Caravan Park
The woolly coats perfect for baaa-d weather

Katie Wilby, of Flintshire council, told Radio Wales Breakfast: "It's pretty challenging conditions. We've had gritting crews out ploughing and gritting all night. We've had extra vehicles out.

"There has been significant snowfall overnight. We've seen 20 to 40 centimetres in places, particularly on high ground, but I think most parts of Flintshire have seen snow this morning and will wake up to snow.

"It's coming down as fast as we're clearing it at the moment so it's really tricky."

Ms Wilby added that the authority has spread about 360 tonnes of gritting salt and covered 1,466 miles (2,360km) of road in 36 hours.

She said some disruption must be expected, adding: "We are working really hard to keep the roads open but I would advise that people don't travel unless absolutely necessary."

Councillor Hugh Jones, lead member for environment at Wrexham council, added: "All our resources have been out overnight. The work has been hampered by a number of fallen trees as well, but we have managed to get the main routes open.

"The advice is if you don't have to travel, don't travel, because there will be enough people who have to travel to spread the salt.

"People have to understand that our teams have been working for over 24 hours, so it's really a tough time."

Arriva bus said that Wrexham services suspended on Friday morning have since returned to operation but buses would only be using the main roads until further notice.

Denbigh Cricket Pitch
Snow at Denbigh Cricket Pitch on Friday morning

Both Wrexham and Flintshire councils have also confirmed that all refuse and recycling collections will be suspended on Friday, with updates posted to their respective websites.

Tucker and Molly enjoying the snow
Tucker and Molly enjoying the snow in Pandy, Wrexham on Thursday

Helen Kynaston, of the Newtown Community Cafe in Powys: "This morning it was snowing really heavily early on.

"Yesterday was a major challenge and we only had a handful of customers, but our chef managed to get in. It took my neighbours and I about three-quarters of an hour to dig [us] out.

"We made the bowling club really nice and warm and we had requests from our regular customers who really struggled, so we delivered to them which we don't normally do on a Thursday."

Meanwhile, Brian Dulson from Tanat Valley Coaches said the company has had to cancel its Powys services for a second day.

He said: "Still pretty heavy in the last couple of hours. Our local schools are closed.

"Everywhere the snow is really bad, so it's getting the buses out because if you get stuck in the snow it's a nuisance. We've got little lanes and side roads, our routes are not just on the main roads."