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BLACK ice, fallen trees and power cuts are continuing to cause chaos across the region - but commuters are on the move again as they battle back to work.

Thousands of motorists are returning to cars abandoned on motorways, hillsides and in car parks after being forced to seek shelter in hotels, service stations and even supermarkets last night (Monday) - some after waiting in exasperating traffic jams for up to 14 hours.

Drivers are braving major routes including the M4, A4 and A329M but many roads are still closed including Church Road both ways between the A4155 Bridge Street and Shepherds Lane in Caversham.

Highways Agency spokesman Peter O'Connor said: "Traffic appears to be moving on the M4 but conditions remain difficult. Our advice is if you feel you need to drive take the right precautions and make sure you prepare carefully for journeys."

He added: "We are gritting the roads around the network and are working very closely with the met office."

He urged motorists check routes before setting out and keep in touch with local radio stations and websites, drive carefully and wear warm clothing.

Reading Borough Council also sent out gritting lorries on main roads and secondary routes after holding an emergency meeting with police last night.

Council spokeswoman Sarah Bishton said: "Due to very heavy traffic in and around the town, gritters were only able to grit these routes once traffic had started to ease. More than 125 tonnes of grit were used last night and the council has ample stocks. The council also deployed extra gritting crews to priority areas. The council urges drivers who abandoned their vehicles over night to move them as soon as possible today so that we can continue to clear and grit the roads effectively."

She confirmed the council would not issue parking tickets to vehicles abandoned in streets with parking restrictions.

Reading Buses were up and running this morning with limited routes after suspending services yesterday afternoon. Travellers also face delays on First Great Western trains in and out of Reading Station.

The Royal Berkshire Hospital has cancelled all out patients appointments and elective surgeries and more than 60 patients and relatives were stranded overnight at the hospital.

Hospital spokesman Joe Wise said: "Most of the overnighters were given beds or armchairs in the day surgery unit. Some others were bedded down in the Sanctuary and some opted for chairs in corridors."

He urged pregnant women and those needing emergency surgery to call 999 rather than attempt to drive to hospital.

Meanwhile Sonning Common and Burghfield Common are without electricity because the weight of snow has snapped power cables.

Southern Electricity spokeswoman Morven Smith confirmed engineers were battling their way through the treacherous conditions to fix the problem and said: "We do have pockets of people without power, but the weather conditions are causing a problem. We are hoping to have power up and running throughout the day or by the evening . Our engineers will work as long as it is safe to do so."

Telephone lines in Calcot have also snapped - and some are hanging at head height - causing danger to pedestrians and trees have also collapsed under the weight of the snow.

How has the snow affected your journeys in the region? Comment below or contact 0118 955 3305.