SCORES of motorists were stranded by heavy snow in North Yorkshire – as weathermen predicted further falls today, even on lower ground for a while.
Police said they received reports of dozens of vehicles being temporarily stranded yesterday afternoon on a section of the A169 Pickering to Whitby road on the North York Moors, between Saltersgate hill and Blue Bank at Sleights.
Press photographer Anthony Chappel-Ross, who went on to the Moors to photograph the snowy scenes for the newspaper, said he saw about a hundred cars stranded at one point, and was himself unable to leave the area for a time.
Traffic was also very slow on the A64 between York and Malton during the evening rush hour.
North Yorkshire County Council said its snowploughs were out clearing about four inches of snow in hilly areas, and were due to go out gritting again last night and from 5am this morning.
Forecasters predicted rain and hill snow would sweep across North Yorkshire today after a frosty, icy start, with the rain preceded by snow at lower levels.
With further frosts and icy roads expected over coming days, City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police and the Environment Agency joined forces to issue a safety message to all residents and road users to exercise caution following the recent flooding.
They warned that flooding and surface water were still affecting isolated areas in and around York, which would be prone to difficult and icy conditions as temperatures plunged.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The cold snap may easily turn this into sheets of ice and whether we’re walking or driving we need to be very careful, to be aware of temperatures and to watch our footing and our speed.”
Inspector Vicky Taylor, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “If your route is affected by snow or ice, the first thing you need to consider is whether or not your journey is actually necessary.
“If it isn’t essential and alternative work or personal arrangements can be made, then don’t go – simple as that.
“If you have no choice and have to travel in wintry weather, it is vital to give yourself more time, take extra care and adjust your driving to the conditions.
“This could be lowering your speed, increasing breaking distances and making sure lights are on even during the day.”