The Lion Inn pub in Blakey Ridge, North Yorkshire, where seven people have been trapped for eight days
While thousands braved the cold to begin their Christmas shopping, seven people in North Yorkshire are praying for better weather after being snowed into a pub for eight days and counting.

Heavy snow showers and strong winds have left the group stuck in the Lion Inn pub in Blakey Ridge, Kirkbymoorside since last Friday, with little chance of an escape.

Drifts of up to 16ft blocked the inn's doors and windows, with the surrounding roads impassable, and to make matters worse, the stranded seven's cars are buried under nine foot of snow.

The group's predicament in the fourth highest pub in England continues as forecasters warned Britons to expect icy conditions for at least another week, with temperatures falling as low as -10C in the South East of England overnight.

Katie Underwood, 18, who has been a waitress at the Lion Inn for four years, said: 'It was really novel at first, and quite exciting.

'The snow is immense. Most of the windows in here are blocked up, but we've got a door open at the back to get some air when we need to.'

She added: 'The boys that are here have been skiing on trays down the massive slopes, and we've made snow angels but the novelty is definitely starting to wear off.'

'Now they're all out trying to dig their cars out of the deep snow. It's been absolutely freezing, but we've been lucky that it's a pub and B&B we're trapped in.'

A window at the Lion Inn pub is barely visible after huge snow drifts
As the seven people stuck in the Lion Inn hope for improved conditions, England and Wales are predicted to have some respite from the snow today as rain showers move in bringing temperatures up to 7C in some areas.

But that will not be enough to melt the ice which is expected to be worsened by rain freezing on top.

In England, severe warnings of widespread icy roads remain in London and the South East, the South West, the East the East and West Midlands and the North West where there are also warnings of heavy snow.

The Met Office also issued ice and snow warnings in Wales and Northern Ireland and in the North and North West of Scotland. Temperatures fell to around -10C in Charlwood, in the South East of England last night.

The snows have also prevented security vans tasked with delivery notes to cash machines from completing their deliveries across the country.

HSBC confirmed yesterday that seven per cent of its machines were closed due to low funds and warned that more incomplete deliveries could see stocks reaching 'unacceptable levels'.

Restrictions on truckers' working hours have been temporarily relaxed to help vital supplies get through during the current spell of snowy weather, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed today.

The nine-hour daily driving limit has been increased to 10 hours for all heavy goods vehicles for the next four days, said Mr Hammond.

The change is intended to ease the supply of fuel, food and gritting salt, as well as help hauliers to work through the backlogs of deliveries that built up over the past week.

The rail network started to restore services today after struggling to cope with the freezing conditions.

Line operators East Coast, Southern, first Great Western, South West, South Eastern, and First TransPennine Express were still experiencing delays, while Eurostar said it would be operating a reduced timetable until tomorrow.

Major airports were also operating although many were experiencing flight delays.

Meanwhile, the impact of the winter weather were clear to customers at a Tesco superstore in Scunthorpe after a roof collapsed under the weight of snow.

The building was full of shoppers when 30 square metres of the roof and front canopy buckled last night.

Fortunately, the collapse happened at the farthest point from the entrance and many customers only discovered the drama when staff evacuated the building.

Firefighters were called to the shop but no one was injured. A Tesco spokesman said: 'There was nobody in the immediate area.

'As a temporary precaution, we have evacuated the store. We are working hard to fix the damaged section.'

The lopsided roof of the Tesco superstore in Scunthorpe, north Lincolnshire, which collapsed under the weight of heavy snow