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Amber Alert as Snow comes to North Yorkshire


3:49pm 14th January 2013

The Met Office has issued an Amber alert for snow this afternoon as North Yorkshire is hit by bad weather.

Gritters are out in force across North Yorkshire, the city of York and the East Riding.

The City of York Council says their forecasts suggest the snow will clear after 3pm but they are expecting frost overnight with road temperatures down to -4C and so are gritting the roads to deal with any potential problems with ice.

North Yorkshire County Council says gritters will be out tonight in the Ryedale, Selby and Hambleton areas on top priority routes, with lower priority routes being gritted in the morning.

Meanwhile, East Riding of Yorkshire Council says it's gritters have already been out on the roads.

With snow likely to cause poor visibility during the evening commute, the council is also advising motorists to take extra care and allow additional time to complete any journeys.

John Skidmore, head of streetscene services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We urge all residents to stay safe during this spell of severe winter weather and advise that motorists drive to conditions, allow extra time for their journeys and travel on the main treated network wherever possible.

“One of the common denominators of both flooding, experienced in recent weeks, and the cold weather forecast is how it can make driving conditions difficult and heavy snowfall could cause hazardous conditions in terms of visibility.

“The council is continuing to carry out winter maintenance operations in accordance with its winter plan and would like to assure the public that its salt barns are fully stocked and the area’s salt bins have been replenished.

“The council will continue to monitor conditions around the clock and respond as necessary.”

Drivers are being warned to prepare for a difficult commute this evening and tomorrow morning.

Darron Burness, the AA’s Head of Special Operations, says: “We’ve had a busy morning across the country with the snow and freezing temperatures causing a range of problems, particularly flat batteries and accidents. We’ve seen a few people get stuck in snow and others stuck on soft verges after pulling over or skidding off.

“Our concern for this evening and tomorrow morning is that with rain coming in on the back of the snow, it won’t be possible for the gritters to do as many runs, as the salt would just get washed away. So when temperatures drop later, it could get pretty icy on roads and pavements.

“Stopping distances increase significantly on snow and ice so keep your speed down and take extra care, even on gritted main roads.

“Also give yourself enough time to clear your car of snow, not forgetting the roof. We saw a lot of people this morning driving like ‘tank commanders’ – barely able to see out – but it’s irresponsible, potentially dangerous and you could be stopped by the police. A soft brush or silicone squeegee blade can be used to clear snow, and make sure your wiper blades aren’t frozen to the screen.”

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