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Monday, 14 July 2014

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Snow brings traffic gridlock to Cumbria

Motorists faced long delays and traffic gridlock after snow fell in Cumbria.

Snow at Parton photo
Motorists make their way along the A595 at Parton

Heavy flurries finally arrived in the north of the county yesterday morning and continued intermittently throughout the day and last night.

In the west of the county, drivers reported gridlock on the Whitehaven to Gosforth road with some taking nearly two hours to make the short journey.

Some people were also left stranded for a time in the Whitehaven, Mirehouse and Moresby areas.

North of the border, it took some drivers one and a half hours to drive from Annan to Dumfries in snow – a journey that would normally take about 30 minutes.

A Big Burns Supper planned for Dumfries last night had to be cancelled “due to extreme weather conditions” but organisers were keen to stress that the rest of the programme this weekend would go ahead as planned.

More than a dozen schools had been forced to close by the end of yesterday, although some stayed open for pupils sitting exams. These were primarily in the Egremont, Whitehaven, Penrith and Kirkby Stephen areas.

Elsewhere police issued repeated reminders to motorists to take precautions, as roads were slippery and visibility could be very limited.

The A686 between Melmerby and Alston was closed by snow at Hartside pass, and there were “treacherous” road conditions reported on the A66 between Penrith and Cockermouth roundabout.

Some drivers claimed there was snow drifting onto A595 at the top of the hill at Bothel Road, leading to very slippery conditions, while police also issued specific warnings about hazardous conditions on Victoria Road, in Whitehaven, at the Park View junction.

Other closures included the A686 Station Road, between the A689 Front Street, Alston and Melmerby road junction and the A5092 in Grizebeck, which was reported as blocked between the A595 junction and the B5281 junction.

The M6 motorway further south had to close near Wigan at about 8.30pm last night leaving motorists stranded in their cars.

Up to 15cm (6in) of snow has fallen across northern England since Friday.

The forecast for today is a dry day with temperatures expected to reach 6C. A wet and windy week is set to follow.

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