Hotels, fast food restaurants and leisure centres across the country have opened their doors to help people stranded in the snow.
After the A1 became impassable, Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland became one such hub for those marooned by the combined threats of Storm Emma and ‘Beast from the East’.
Margaret Straughan, landlady of the Brewers Arms told HuffPost UK: “It started at about 6pm last night, there were people stuck on a Megabus about three miles away travelling from Edinburgh to Newcastle and they couldn’t book into any hotels or B&Bs.
“They had been on the bus for about 10 hours when someone texted me. I explained we didn’t have any beds but we have plenty of room.”
Around 80 passengers duly descended upon the pub, with Straughan and her daughter laying on free sandwiches and tea and coffee.
She said: “Some of them were pretty angry, they’d been on a bus for 10 hours and hadn’t been updated. But they soon calmed down and were quite happy. I’ve got one who’s pretty drunk now.
“Morrisons (supermarket) then called us to say they had a lot of bread, milk and eggs and they sent that over.
#A1#Alnwick to #Berwick UPDATE - Our teams are continuing to use Diggers, Ploughs & Snow Blower to try and clear the A1 and assist stranded LGV's. Here is an image of what the crews are facing taken overnight from a digger #BeastFromTheEastpic.twitter.com/RRDuZpHGO1— Highways England (@HighwaysYORKS) March 2, 2018
@GMB snow drift southbound on A1 from Berwick pic.twitter.com/TsCpwFHW2X— Angie Buxton (@Abuxton2B) March 2, 2018
“I’ve never had anything like this happen before but you have to do what you can for people. There were some older people, some youngsters and locals were coming over to deliver coats, quilts, airbeds and even boardgames. The people of Berwick have been amazing.
“If you can’t do somebody a good turn don’t do them a bad one.”
Chinese tourist Serena Gao, 30, was one of those stuck on the bus along with her friend Liya Xu. She said: “I was quite worried because it was dark outside and very cold on the bus, but the landlady has been very kind to us. We’ve had a good sleep, we’ve been warm and we are very relieved.
“It’s been memorable but I hope it doesn’t happen again!”
100s of people have been stuck on trains near Christchurch.Rob is among them and we spoke to him at 8am. #train#rail#UKSnow#StormEmmapic.twitter.com/3HimUv0gaQ— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 2, 2018
Stranded at #Brokenhurst station. Friends have been there for over 5 hours with no food, heating or power and no sign of moving anytime soon ? Are you leaving them there all night? @SW_Help#Shockingpic.twitter.com/Xr0M6CFf5o— Samantha Blackburn (@dSAMANTHAj) March 2, 2018
What is going on @SW_Help !! Friends #stranded on the 17.30 from #Waterloo to #Poole, stuck at #Brokenhurst, on a train with no power, no heating left In the cold with no news. #Snow is heavy. @[email protected]#SouthWesternRailwaypic.twitter.com/4mxAmyIt1z— Samantha Blackburn (@dSAMANTHAj) March 2, 2018
Kelly Thompson, who began her shift a 6am at McDonalds in Berwick upon Tweed, said people unable to book hotel rooms had been coming to the restaurant for food and to use the facilities.
With many hotels and guest houses closed due to staff being unable to reach them in the bad weather, several were left to sleep in their cars. Thompson said a local Travelodge had donated a number of duvets and that McDonalds itself had provided breakfast for around 70 people who spent the night in the nearby Swan Leisure Centre.
She said: “I’ve sent muffins, milk and cups over and the Coastguard has been helping out transporting the supplies with its 4x4s.”
Elsewhere in the country, the military was called to lead a major rescue operation on the A31 in Hampshire and M62 in Greater Manchester.
Dozens of volunteers battled through snow to take supplies to people stranded on the M62 motorway after drivers were left trapped in their cars for several hours.
Eleanor Kelly, 19, said local residents in Milnrow, Rochdale, had been taking hot drinks, food and blankets to those stuck on the carriageway – including to a father with a baby and toddler in the car.
She said: “We’ve been trying to get to as many people as we can in about a mile radius from where we can get to the carriageway.”
The local community centre, Butterworth Hall, was also opened to provide refuge for stranded motorists overnight.
Good people of Milnrow running supplies up the hill to the motorway to get supplies to stranded drivers