Impassable side roads hit taxis

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ONE of Sheffield’s biggest taxi firms had less than one in five vehicles on the road as snow hit trade.

Ian Godbehere, of Crookes-based Mercury, said just 38 taxis out of the firm’s 250-strong fleet were on the road as impassable side roads put paid to thousands of journeys over the weekend.

And he predicted commuter chaos on the roads today because few drivers gave themselves extra time to make their journey to work.

He said: “People still want to take their car everywhere, but few account for the conditions.

“They should leave an extra half hour just in case.”

Mr Godbehere said abandoned vehicles on main roads would also slow journeys today.

He added: “Abandoned cars and freezing conditions won’t be good.”

Travellers hoping to get away by air travel were also affected after Doncaster Airport was closed for 24 hours until Sunday afternoon because of snow on the runway. Flights were cancelled or departed from other airports including Leeds.

Meanwhile a Dronfield couple had an adventure - and a lucky escape - after they got lost in icy conditions on Kinder Scout.

Some 41 mountain rescuers turned out on Friday night they became stranded on an icy waterfall on Kinder Scout and then fell into a river.

They were pinpointed after the pair, a man aged 26, and a 35-year-old woman set fire to their map as the South Yorkshire police helicopter flew over the searching for them.

It landed near Crowden Brook and took the “cold, tired and wet” walkers to the force base at Catcliffe, an Edale Mountain Rescue spokesman said.

Meanwhile parents were anxiously waiting to discover if their child’s school was closed this morning.

A Sheffield City Council spokesman said the decision lay solely with headteachers.

Many schools now inform parents by text, but closures would also be on the council’s website.

The Travel South Yorkshire website - a hub for public transport information for the county - crashed on Saturday evening due to weight of numbers. A spokeswoman said engineers were working on it all day yesterday and they hoped to have it working today.

A Star reader, posting on The Star’s website, as Woodseats Sammy, praised staff at the NISA supermarket in Jordanthorpe for showing community spirit by clearing the snow off the approach to Jordanthorpe shops.

He said: “Brilliant, and much appreciated by local residents.”

Another poster, Derek Hutchinson, said: “How long did they know that this little amount of snow was going to hit the UK?

“Every year we see the same thing whether it be half an inch or two feet of snow bringing the country to a halt.

“The UK is a joke when it comes to keeping the road network clear.”