LONDON Council gritting lorries laid thousands of tonnes of salt on Friday, working around the clock to make roads safe as the wintry weather showed little sign of loosening its stranglehold on transport networks.
Businesses are also suffering as freezing temperatures keep customers away during the key pre-Christmas trading period.
Although snow showers have eased in many areas, ice will continue to grip the country's roads over the weekend.
Temperatures across the country are set to hug zero into next week, and the Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for heavy snow in Cumbria and parts of south and mid-Wales.
Many schools were closed again in Scotland and more than 2,000 were shut in England on Friday, forcing some parents to skip work to look after their children.
Up and down the country, commuters struggled to and from work on disrupted rail services as weather conditions slowed traffic on roads to a snail's pace.
Businesses were counting the cost of the harshest early winter weather in two decades.
"There's no question numbers have fallen over the last week with where they would be otherwise," said Richard Dodd, a spokesman for the British Retail Consortium. "Fewer customers are going out to make non-essential purchases."
Smaller firms have been particularly hard-hit, said the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, expressing frustration that the lessons from previous spells of bad weather have not been learnt.
Sub-zero temperatures and snow in Britain have cost the economy an estimated 1.2 billion pounds a day.
Gatwick, Britain's second busiest airport, reopened on Friday, having been closed for three days due to the weather, but delays and cancellations are expected to continue.
The disruptions have prompted widespread criticism of Britain's ability to handle bad weather, and the country's transport minister has ordered a review of how transport operations have coped this week.
(Additional reporting by Mohammed Abbas: Editing by Keith Weir)
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