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Sledgers enjoy wintry fun on slopes
GRITTERS are expected to be out in force again today following a day of disruption caused by snow and sub-zero temperatures.
Icy conditions led to more than 60 accidents on York and North Yorkshire’s roads overnight on Saturday.
Many roads including the M62, East Yorkshire, remained treacherous yesterday and motorists and rail travellers were warned of disruption and advised to consider whether their journey was essential before setting out, because of the risk of freezing fog and ice patches.
The county saw some of the heaviest snowfall, with Church Fenton near Tadcaster, reporting about six inches of snow.
Sutton Bank was closed in both directions on Saturday night after a four-vehicle pile-up caused by ice.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “It was a very difficult afternoon and evening for the force with the volume of incidents.”
Fire crews were called to a number of incidents, but nobody was reported to have been seriously injured.
The fire and rescue service said a crew returning to their base at Robin Hood’s Bay had also helped several motorists who became stuck in snow drifts.
City of York Council said its gritting teams began clearing the main road network across the city from 6am yesterday and cycle paths from 10am.
Another gritting run was carried out yesterday afternoon and the crews were scheduled to be out again early today.
The clearance work meant the impact of the snow on major routes and bus services was kept to a minimum and the city centre remained open for business as usual over the weekend. Sledgers were out in force on Knavesmire, the University of York campus and elsehwere, but the heavy snowfall forced the postponement of York City’s FA Trophy match against Ebbsfleet United at Bootham Crescent on Saturday afternoon. All local rugby fixtures were also cancelled.
The worst of the flurries will move eastwards and there is not expected to be any more significant snowfall. However, much of the UK has been placed on amber alert, with the Met Office warning of icy conditions.
Following last year’s deluge of snow York council set up a dedicated team of snow wardens to help clear paths and roads in communities around the city with the aim of reducing the risk trips and falls and preventing people having to seek hospital treatment.
The icy spell has seen daytime temperatures plummet four or five degrees lower than average for February, traditionally the coldest month of the year.