Heavy snow and ice brought major disruption to parts of the UK, with motorways and transport terminals across the country affected.

Thousands of homes were also left without power as wintry weather swept in overnight.

The southbound carriageway of the M1 near Lutterworth in Leicestershire was closed after an accident involving a lorry, with Highways England reporting “severe conditions” on the A14 near Kettering, while another HGV jack-knifed in heavy snow on the M5 in Gloucestershire.

Passengers leaving Stansted Airport were left waiting as the runway was closed temporarily to allow safety checks to be carried out.

Elsewhere, travellers at Luton Airport were also warned to expect possible delays due to sleet and snow, with reported delays of over two hours while crews de-iced their plane.

An airport spokesman said: “The airport is open and the runway operational but air traffic control restrictions are in place.

(PA Graphics)(PA Graphics)

“There are some delays as airlines de-ice their aircraft. We advise all passengers to check with their airline for the latest status of their flight.”

East Midlands Trains also reported heavy snow between Market Harborough and Kettering resulted in delays.

Police forces used social media to warn motorists of the possible dangers of adverse weather on the country’s road network, with many people travelling on Boxing Day ahead of their return to work on Wednesday.

Gloucestershire Police released an image of officers working in heavy snowfall at the scene of the M5 lorry crash, Northamptonshire Road and Armed Policing Team posted a picture of a car which crashed just after junction 18 on the M1, while Thames Valley Police posted an image of a car flipped on its side, surrounded by piles of snow.

Western Power Distribution said more than 13,000 homes remained without power, the majority of those affected being in the West Midlands area, although properties in the East Midlands, the South West of England and Wales were also caught up in the outage.

The weather also delayed waste and recycling collections in the Cotswolds.

The band of rain and snow is not expected to clear the mainland until around 7pm on Wednesday, although showers are expected to become lighter and patchy as the day progresses.

The latest snowfall to hit the UK comes around a fortnight after hundreds of schools were closed, homes were left without power, and travellers were stranded or forced to stay indoors when a deep freeze gripped the UK.

Met Office meteorologist Simon Partridge said: “We have had some quickly changing weather overnight with a band of heavy rain and hill snow that started in the south west and is gradually moving north and eastwards.

The scene of an accident on the M1 The scene of an accident on the M1 (Northants Roads and Armed Policing Team/PA)

“That’s crossed Wales and is just lying over central southern England and it has brought some snow with it.”

Up to 7cm of snow was recorded to have fallen over Exmoor, South Wales and the Cotswolds overnight, while other areas also saw flurries.