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Drivers warned to beware of drifting snow as big freeze continues

Drivers have today been warned to watch out for drifting snow as the North East continues to suffer the icy grip of the 'Beast from the East'.

Most main routes in the Tyne and Wear were open for this morning's rush hour, though there were problems further north on the A1 in Northumberland, which was closed between Alnwick and Berwick, while to the south of the region the A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith remained closed.

As these pictures and video from our reporter Fiona Thompson show, the A183 at Penshaw, Houghton-le-Spring, is clear, but drifted and ploughed snow lies several feet deep at the roadside.

Police are still urging motorists to only take to the roads if their journey is absolutely necessary, and to prepare for the worst by taking some food, hot drinks and a blanket or extra warm clothing with you in case you get stranded by a sudden change in the weather.

Drifiting snow is piled up beside the road on the A183 at Penshaw.

Drifiting snow is piled up beside the road on the A183 at Penshaw.

The A183 at Penshaw was clear this morning, but conditions can change quickly when snow blows off the fields.

The A183 at Penshaw was clear this morning, but conditions can change quickly when snow blows off the fields.