Snow disrupts schools, travel in UK, Netherlands

AMSTERDAM/LONDON (Reuters) - A second day of snowfall closed schools and disrupted travel across parts of Britain and the Netherlands on Monday, with freezing weather and further snow predicted for later in the day.

About a quarter of flights at Europe’s biggest airport London Heathrow were canceled, a spokeswoman for the airport said, adding that Sunday’s disruption had caused a knock-on effect, leaving planes and crews in the wrong places.

Hundreds of flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were delayed, while the regional airport of Eindhoven shut completely, cancelling all flights.

Heavy snowfall in the Netherlands led to the closure of schools and businesses and prompted authorities to advise people to stay home. Rail and road networks were hit by icy weather, with some areas expected to get up to 30 cm (12 inches) of snowfall within 24 hours.

Winter enthusiasts took advantage of the rare thick snow, with some out on skis, while school children enjoyed an unexpected day off.

The national Dutch weather institute KNMI issued its highest alert, warning of “extremely dangerous” conditions across the country.

The national railroad operator and government advised people not to take the train or drive if they could avoid it, with up to 15 cm of snowfall expected on Monday afternoon.

Travel was substantially disrupted for a second day across much of Britain, as wintry showers continued following heavy snow on Sunday.

Train services across Wales, central and northern England as well as commuter services into London were severely disrupted. Drivers were warned of treacherous driving conditions with motoring organization the RAC saying that they were expecting to handle 11,000 breakdowns by the end of the day.

All schools in England’s second biggest city Birmingham were closed, while many others were also forced to shut across England and Wales.

Reporting by Bart Meijer, Alistair Smout and Michael Holden, Editing by William Maclean