POLICE in the North-East and North Yorkshire have issued a warning to drivers after heavy snow fell across the region overnight.

Northumbria Police said spells of heavy snow are continuing to cause problems for road users.

A spokesman said: "Although limited in their duration, these showers are appearing quickly and covering roads in a matter of minutes and drivers need to remain alert to changing conditions.

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"Northumbria Police is monitoring the situation on the roads and working with partners such as local authorities and the Highways Agency to keep drivers informed and roads open."

Police have also urged Newcastle United fans to set off early to their home game this afternoon.

Chief Superintendent Gordon Milward said: "We've been informed that today's Newcastle United game is expected to go ahead.

"We're asking fans to use their common sense when travelling to the game and to be aware of road conditions."

Hundreds of passengers are stranded as airports across the UK suspended flights because of the weather.

British Airways last night apologised to people trapped on planes in appalling weather at Heathrow airport as they waited for a slot to take off, and hundreds of others had flights cancelled.

More than 400 flights were cancelled at the airport, and hundreds of people spent the night on the floor as they waited for flights to be rescheduled.

There are warnings of further travel problems today. Darron Burness, the AA's head of special operations, said: "With the snow compacting down and turning icy, were likely to see treacherous driving conditions throughout the weekend.

"Any fresh snow on top will just add to the problems."

The Met Office is forecasting less snow, but has issued yellow warnings for ice over much of the country. The Highways Agency said its fleet of snow ploughs and gritters will continue to be out in force across the weekend to ensure roads are passable.

Up to 4in (10cm) of snow is expected to fall locally over the North York Moors.