Hazardous roads across UK as snowfalls prompt weather warnings


Motorists have been urged to take extra care in hazardous driving conditions after snow swept across , Wales, the north of England and the Midlands.

Met Office weather warnings were put in place for the first half of Thursday, urging people to be aware of snow. The yellow alerts covered all of Scotland and , northern England, the east Midlands and the Yorkshire and Humber areas.

Snow fell by in Gateshead as temperatures struggled to get beyond low single figures in the region.

The A68 was closed in both directions between Errington Arms roundabout and the A6079 junction because of snow. On the B6317, long delays and hazardous driving conditions were reported. The B6341 was also closed in both directions between the B6344 junction in Rothbury and New Moor Crossroads in Edlingham because of snow.

Snow falls by the Angel of the North. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Northumbria police reported problems on the A690 eastbound, with a partial road closure at Houghton Cut. HGVs and buses were being rerouted by police, while two schools in Northumberland were reportedly closed because of the severe weather conditions.

In Yorkshire, areas including Swaledale and the Pennines near Leyburn were coated in the snow as people remained on alert for dangerous conditions.

Further south, snow fell over parts of the overnight and in Wales the snow and icy conditions were affecting travel with some roads closed. The A474 in Neath was closed earlier after a car overturned in icy conditions between Cwmgors and Pontardawe.

Elsewhere, about 3-6cm of snow was expected in some parts of central and east Scotland, with the possibility of more than 10cm on higher ground.

In Midlothian, the A68 from Pathhead to Fala was shut for a while after a jackknifed lorry blocked the road. The same road was also closed temporarily at Carter Bar due to an accident. The A1, A7, and M8 also experienced snow overnight.

In the , the local authority urged motorists to take care on the roads and “drive to the conditions”. It said the Longformacus to Gifford road was closed due to drifting snow, and drivers were also asked to avoid the Dunion Road between Jedburgh and Hawick.

Horses in a snow-covered field in the village of Oxnam in the Scottish Borders. Photograph: Chris Strickland/Demotix/Corbis

In Stirling, snow covered the area surrounding . Further north, the B974 Banchory to Fettercairn was closed at Cairn O’ Mount due to severe weather.

The Met Office said the rain and snow would soon clear from central and south-western parts of Scotland, leading to widespread ice on untreated surfaces.

Police Scotland said officers had received a number of reports of incidents on roads on Wednesday and advised motorists to take care.

The plummeting temperatures have also prompted public health chiefs to warn the elderly to keep their homes warm and have the flu jab as forecasters predict the cold front is set to remain into the weekend, with Scotland and northern England bearing the brunt of the wintry weather.

John Lee, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, said: “Over the next few days temperatures are unlikely to get much higher than 5C (41F) or 6C (43F) pretty much anywhere and we are likely to see more widespread frost.”