Severe weather alert issued as snow falls on parts of North East

A severe weather alert has been issued to drivers as the first significant snow of winter fell across a large swathe of northern England.

Wednesday, 9th November 2016, 7:53 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 11:22 am
Heavy snow showers have hit County Durham.

Areas of County Durham and high-level routes across the Pennines were hit by the wave of snow which swept across the north of the country from Tuesday evening.

Driving conditions are difficult on parts of the A1(M) and main routes on higher ground in the North East.

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The Snake Pass between Manchester and Sheffield was closed for a number of hours in the early hours of Wednesday morning before the road was cleared and motorists reported tricky driving conditions on the higher parts of the M62 and other motorways.

Highways England issued a severe weather alert, urging motorists in the North of England and the Midlands to check conditions before setting out and ensure they have a winter kit in their vehicles.

And commuters took to social media to warn of difficult conditions from Leeds, through the Yorkshire Dales to County Durham.

Durham Police posted: "Parts of Durham & Darlington are affected by snow & ice this morning, drive carefully & allow extra time for your journey."

Further south, Surrey Police officers tweeted a picture of a car which collided with a "Drive carefully through roadworks" sign at the beginning of the M3.

The officers posted "Sometimes you just can't make it up!! Single vehicle collision #drivetotheconditions."

But predictions of accumulations of up to 6in (15cm) of snow in some Pennine areas appear to have been misguided.

The Met Office issued a yellow 'Be Aware' warning for much of the west of Scotland, the north-eastern tip of Wales, parts of the North West and North East of England, and down into the Midlands, which was due to expire mid-morning on Wednesday.

It said: "This could bring accumulations of 4cm-8cm (1.6in-3.2in) across some hilly areas of northern England and Scotland, largely above 200m-300m, with as much as 15cm (6in) possible above 300m-400m."

The warning continued: "However, there is also the potential for 5cm-10cm (2in-4in) of snow to settle to low levels over parts of Yorkshire and down into the north-east Midlands, though with a good deal of uncertainty about this. Please be aware of the potential for difficult driving conditions in some areas."

On Tuesday, the AA said it had experienced its busiest day of the year so far with more than 10,000 calls. Many drivers had flat batteries and other cold weather-related problems.