Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Thaws Out

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Thaws Out

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken and Paul McMillan

Children had the day off, Newcastle Airport shut for two hours and some roads were closed as the North East shivered under snow.

But weather forecasters today said the worst was over after the eastern side of Britain saw up to 25cm of snow fall yesterday, bringing chaos to the region.

Motoring groups today said roads were getting back to normal after heavy snow conditions, which had pushed traffic on the A1 Western Bypass into one lane each way, but in places conditions were still hazardous.

The RAC took a call every three seconds from drivers needing help yesterday. A motorist also died when his four wheel drive car left a snow-covered private road in Boltby, North Yorkshire, and turned over.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency in the North East said today: "All the trunk road network is open. There may be occasional problems with wind-blown snow coming off fields but there have been gritters and ploughs out where necessary."

Yesterday, 66 schools in Northumberland closed early, seven in Newcastle, four in County Durham and 11 in Sunderland.

Newcastle Airport was hit by the severe weather and forced to close its runway for two hours, with flights cancelled. London's Stanstead, Gatwick and Heathrow Airports also closed for a time but were expected to return to normal today.

Trains on the East Coast mainline slowed to a stop at crossings in North Northumberland after cameras were obscured by blizzards. More than 200 commuters were also stranded for four hours at London's Victoria Station as services were cancelled.

Even before yesterday's thick blanket had fell, three Gateshead men had enlisted the help of a radio station and a police helicopter to rescue them from a snow drift.

Alex Scott, 19, Sukhi Jayia, 21, and Matthew Lumsley, 19, spent four hours stuck in Alex's Renault Clio near Blanchland, in Derwentside, at about 10. …

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