THE Yorkshire Ambulance Service has declared a 'major incident,' saying heavy snow and high demand had had a severe impact on its operations.

It urged people to only call it in a serious or life-threatening emergency, so it could focus its efforts on its most poorly patients.

Mark Millins, Strategic Commander at the ambulance service trust, said driving conditions were very difficult and many roads gridlocked, and it was implementing a number of actions to protect core services, including increasing its 4x4 capacity.

“Our dedicated staff are working extremely hard to reach patients as quickly and safely as possible but, understandably, the hazardous driving conditions and blocked roads mean that it is taking us longer than normal in the worst-hit areas,” he said.

“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, they should call 999 immediately. For anyone with less serious illnesses and injuries, our NHS 111 service is available online at or by calling 111.”

He urged people to avoid travelling at all in such conditions, if possible.