Vehicle breakdowns reached record levels on Monday due to freezing conditions across the UK.

The RAC said it received around 12,000 call-outs from stranded motorists.

That was the most for a single day since the company began uniformed patrols in 1901, including during the so-called Beast from the East freeze in 2018.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Monday was officially our busiest day for breakdowns on record.

“We believe two key ingredients have combined to create the worst-ever winter breakdown cocktail.

“There has been a sustained period of cold weather with an absence of widespread snow that would otherwise keep people indoors, and a big rise in the number of drivers who can’t afford to maintain their vehicles as well as they’d like to due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.”

Many motorists were stuck on a stretch of the M25 in Hertfordshire which was closed for several hours on Monday morning due to snow.

Mr. Dennis went on: “Hazardous road conditions are continuing following another major refreeze overnight.

“Those who have to use more rural roads that haven’t been gritted will need to exercise great care, or delay or abandon their plans.”

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said icy roads are “the biggest problem for drivers” on Tuesday.

Motorists are “slipping and sliding” as sub-zero temperatures have frozen snow and uncleared ice, he warned.

Mr. Cousens advised drivers to use main roads “as much as possible”.

He added: “Slow and steady is the only option when driving on frozen roads.”

Meanwhile, aviation analytics firm Cirium said a total of 233 departures were canceled from UK airports on Monday as the wintry conditions hit airlines.

Stansted was the worst affected airport, with 78 flights axed.

Reliability returned to normal levels on Tuesday.


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