Snow and ice brings chaos to district

A snowy scene in Lancaster on Wednesday morning.

A snowy scene in Lancaster on Wednesday morning.

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Traffic chaos brought parts of Lancaster and Morecambe to a standstill after overnight snow, hail and ice.

Vehicles were gridlocked on some of the district’s major roads on Wednesday morning (January 14) while China Street in Lancaster city centre was closed off and traffic diverted down Church Street.

A hailstorm battered the district at around 8.30pm on Tuesday night and thin layers of snow settled on roads and pavements.

There were reports of four minor road accidents between Junction 34 and 36 of the M6, due to cars spinning out of control. A spokesman for the Highways Agency said there were no serious injuries.

He also said Highways Agency teams had been out gritting the roads overnight as temperatures dropped below zero.

Lancashire County Council said they had been gritting prior to the bad weather.

But readers took to social media to complain that roads in and out of Lancaster, including the A6 and Caton Road, had not been gritted.

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said yesterday (Tuesday): “We’re well prepared for the wintry weather with over 30,000 tonnes of salt in stock and 49 gritters at our 10 depots across the county.

“We’re planning to grit all routes. Our drivers will then stay on to patrol and monitor routes and grit as needed.

“I’d ask everyone to be very careful as moving traffic is needed to mix the grit with the snow and ice before it takes full effect, and roads may still be icy even after they’ve been gritted depending on the conditions.”

A spokesman for Lancaster Police said: “The roads in and around Lancaster are treacherous at present. Many routes remain gridlocked.

“If you can avoid using your car this morning then please do and complete any journeys locally by foot.”

Wintry showers are expected to continue into tonight (Wednesday, January 14).

The Met Office has also issued a yellow warning for wind this Wednesday with gusts reaching up to 50-65mph through the North West.

Gusts of 75 mph are likely to develop around southern and western coasts and over exposed hills.