LONDON An icy night and forecasts of more heavy snow disrupted airports and schools across the country for a second day on Tuesday with hundreds of flights delayed or cancelled.
Millions of people returned to work in the south east as transport systems stalled by Monday's blizzards slowly returned to operation, but tens of thousands of children were given a another day off because schools across the country remained closed.
"I can't believe it. I love snow," said 6-year-old Benedict Shorthose, gripped by the excitement of a prospect of a second day of snowball fights in snowy London.
But businesses angry at the failing infrastructure were counting the cost of Monday's snow -- the heaviest in the south since 1991.
Experts estimated about 6.4 million people did not get to work on Monday and warned another day of disruption could mean a total cost to a recession-hit economy of 1.2 billion pounds. Stung by criticism after the capital's buses and underground trains came almost to a standstill on Monday, Transport for London issued early Tuesday reports of "good level of service across the vast majority of the Tube and bus network."
Heathrow and other airports were open but airport operator BAA said many flights would be delayed or cancelled.
The Met Office issued an extreme weather warning to motorists to beware of icy roads and drifting or heavy snow and said there was a risk of snowfalls and severe weather affecting many parts of Scotland.
David Frost, director-general of the Chambers of Commerce business organisation accused authorities of complacency and a lack of planning for the extreme weather.
"There is more freak weather about and we shouldn't just buckle to it. There should be more planning going into it," he told BBC radio.
"When something like this does happen, we are caught very much on the hop."
The image of the capital buckling under a few centimetres of snow prompted commentators to make comparisons with World War Two, when even daily air raids by German bombers failed to halt London buses.
"Not even the Luftwaffe stopped the capital's buses," bemoaned the Daily Telegraph's editorial writer. "The very first instinct in the public sector these days is to give up, rather than battle with the elements."
(Editing by Matthew Jones)
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