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First winter snow in London causes Tube, rail and air delays

- Stansted and Luton now open again after snow disruption 

- Snow and ice on tracks delays central line

- Forecasters predict snow spell will be brief

The first snowflakes of winter fell on London today -  and immediately caused Tube, rail and air delays.

Central line services were disrupted between Epping and West Ruislip while engineers dealt with snow and ice on the tracks, Tube bosses confirmed.

Piccadilly line trains were suspended between Acton own and Rayners Lane due to power supply problems at Sudbury Hill. This caused delays over the remainder of the line.Early Metropolitan line services suffered delays due to late finish of night engineering work.Luton Airport was closed for a short while and then re-opened after runways were cleared.

At 8am Stansted remained closed “until further notice.”

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said the runway was being cleared of snow and would be reopened as soon as possible.

Packed  Southeastern trains were delayed by up to 25 minutes on the busy line between Sevenoaks and Hither Green due to "poor rail conditions" - rail jargon for ice, snow or leaves on the tracks.This delayed services from Ashford International into London bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street..

Southern services between Horsham and Victoria continued to be disrupted by a weather-related landslide.The snow showers came at exactly the wrong time hitting commuter services across Surrey, Sussex and Kent.

Weather forecasters don’t expect the snow to continue with the weather easing later this morning.

Network Rail is on standby to keep the mainline tracks clear of snow and ice at night.

Thousands of heaters to keep track points clear of ice have already been installed and some non-passenger carrying trains may run all night to keep lines clear if freezing conditions continue.

Michael Dukes, director of forecasting at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the cold snap was due to remain for "some time yet".

"There has been a band of sleet and snow moving through parts of the east Midlands, east England and south east England late in the night, towards morning," he said.

"It has produced only one or two centimetres in places, it is not very much. Most of the snow has been on higher ground but there has been a little bit of snow on lower ground as well.

"This band of sleet and snow in the South East is moving out of the way in the next hour or so and many places today will be bright and sunny but cold.

"The exception to that is the North Sea coastal areas because there will be further sleet and snow showers in the counties bordering the North Sea.

"Other areas will be mostly sunny."

He said tonight would be cold, with some areas seeing temperatures plunging to as low as minus 8C (18F), with another band of rain and snow due to affect Scotland and the North West England.

"Tomorrow morning will be a bit of a problem. Right at the end of tonight another band of rain and snow comes into Scotland and the North West of England. That will fall on very, very cold roads because it will have been cold overnight," he said."There could be some widespread ice issues tomorrow morning in Scotland and in north west England.