Big freeze set to continue for another week

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Forecasters have warned that Britain will continue to shiver in icy conditions for at least another week.

Though the worst of the snow has fallen, temperatures will remain low for the time of year and rain is set to make Britain's frozen roads and pavements even more dangerous.

In England, severe warnings of widespread icy roads remain in London and the South East, the South West, the East and West Midlands and the North West where there are also warnings of heavy snow.

The Met Office also issued ice and snow warnings in Wales and Northern Ireland and in the North and North West of Scotland.

In response to the continuing situation Transport Secretary Philip Hammond summoned Government chiefs for an hour-long emergency weather meeting to "stocktake" and discuss preparations for the weekend.

Downing Street declined to offer a guarantee that the country would not run out of salt and grit but said the nation was "in a much better position than we were last year".

The Government also urged Britons not to panic buy in the wake of fears of fuel and food shortages, with some reports predicting that at least 500 forecourts would be without diesel by the end of the weekend

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