Freeze chaos on the roads

Snow covered: Cars yesterday in Aldam Rd,Totley.
Snow covered: Cars yesterday in Aldam Rd,Totley.
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ICE, freezing temperatures and abandoned cars were set to create nightmare travelling conditions for commuters today after South Yorkshire was battered by snow.

Thousands of side roads remained blanketed today, despite intensive gritting and snowplough operations, posing a major headache for some drivers.

The snow brought traffic chaos to the county after it swept in on an icy wind on Saturday.

Many buses were cancelled, Robin Hood Airport at Finningley, near Doncaster, was closed, as were the Snake and Woodhead passes across the Peak District between South Yorkshire and Manchester.

Three people were hurt when the Land Rover they were in crashed into a wall in snow on Saturday.

The trio were carried out on spinal boards after firefighters cut the roof off the vehicle following the crash on Rutland Road, Burngreave, at about 11am on Saturday.

A Sheffield City Council spokeswoman said all “priority one” routes - some 250 miles - were treated before the snowfall and all remained driveable with care.

Work continued throughout yesterday to tackle some 470 miles of “priority two” routes despite “extremely difficult conditions” in some places.

Coun Leigh Bramall, council transport spokesman, said: “We believe it is right to do whatever it takes to ensure the city’s roads are kept open during severe weather, to help the economy and for public safety.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the council’s Street Force staff who have been dealing with the adverse weather throughout the weekend.

“I’d also like to thank the 96 snow wardens in Sheffield who have volunteered to get out and help their community, and of course the people of Sheffield for their patience.”

And although temperatures were forecast to rise as high as 5C today, weathermen warned bitterly cold nights will continue until at least Thursday.

Paul Mott, forecaster at Meteo Group, urged motorists and pedestrians to beware of icy patches.

Wayne Southall, emergency services manager at Sheffield Council, said gritters and snowploughs were busy all night and appealed to people to move cars on main roads.

He said: “It would make our job much easier if people could move some of the cars causing problems.”