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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Cumbria Snow chaos drivers speak out

HUNDREDS of drivers around South Cumbria were left stranded for hours after snow wreaked havoc on the county’s roads.

Click here to send us your cold weather pictures

Among the worst hit areas was the A590 at Lindale brow were police believe as many as 200 cars were left stranded in queues reported to be a mile long before eventually clearing at around 1am.

The A592 was blocked by fallen trees and abandoned cars and some drivers trapped by the weather were forced to sleep in their cars, police have said the road remains closed this morning.

The Bay Search and Rescue send three teams to join police, fire and residents in helping to tackle the problem.

Some kind hearted residents in the Tower Wood area took in those who had been trapped while others provided hot drinks.

At 11. 20pm last night Sally Hunter told the Evening Mail she was among “hundreds” stuck on the east-bound carriageway of the A590 just before the turn-off for High Newton.

Mrs Hunter, who set off from Barrow at 5pm, is with her two children, 11 and 16, and two dogs, and said she was disgusted because no information on the estimated length of the delay was forthcoming.

She said: “Some farmers kindly pulled up about half an hour ago and passed out some tea, but there is no information.

“I’ve been told there’s a jack-knifed lorry at the bottom of the hill, but there’s no information if we’re here all night, a few hours – there’s no information about anything. It’s appalling.

“We’re sat next to the road which pulls off towards High Newton and there’s been a snow plough going up and down the other carriageway, towards Barrow, and it looked like it could’ve cleared this road as well, but they haven’t.”

At 10.20pm, another reader reported that their boss was still stuck at Lindale after leaving Barrow around 4.20pm.

Elsewhere, there were cars stuck on the A592 near the Beech Hill Hotel, Windermere, and although the road had not been officially closed, police advised drivers to keep clear of this area, and indeed any roads if at all possible.

Greystone Lane in Dalton was blocked, with queueing traffic in both directions between the Holly Gate Road junction and up the hill towards Coronation Drive.

Neil Hitchings, of Spark Bridge, sent the Evening Mail pictures of cars abandoned after the road became impassable.

One driver collided with a tree on the bends near Saunders M E & Sons Ltd, Spark Bridge.

Bus passengers were told to ‘rip up the timetable’ due to conditions with buses to Millom cancelled while buses bound for Windermere were diverted to Kendal due to conditions.

He said buses to Millom "were off".

This morning the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice which should subside as the day goes on with temperatures reaching a high of six degrees.

Rain is forecast for around 6pm and a yellow warning for rain has been issued for Sunday – no more snow has been forecast.

The weather has cancelled Barrow AFC's FA Trophy tie at home to Gateshead.

Lakes Aquarium has been unable to open due to the poor conditions but South Lakes Wild Animal Park has confirmed it will be open today, despite icy conditions.

Motorists have again been advised to plan journeys carefully and get the latest information on the roads before setting off.

Cumbria Highways have closed a number of roads due to snow and ice making them unsafe. The following roads are closed:
• U4059 Cold Fell and Hardknott Pass
• C4026 Ulpha Fell
• U4064 Corney Fell

The road closure orders last for up to 21 days but may be renewed if necessary.

Motorists are also being warned not to leave their vehicles unattended while the engine is running to defrost them.

The British Insurance Brokers' Association is reporting a growing number of "frosting" incidents - when opportunist thieves steal the vehicle with the keys in the ignition, while the windscreen is being defrosted. BIBA warns most insurers will not pay out in such circumstances.

The Evening Mail website will be continually updated as the weather changes, keeping our readers informed.

For updates on the conditions on the roads you can go to: www.cumbria.police.uk/traffic-link-map

For information on road closures authorised by Cumbria Highways, click here.

Send your pictures of the snowy conditions with the form below or to pictures.em@cnmedia.co.uk

Tell us your story by ringing 01229 840161 or emailing news.em@cnmedia.co.uk

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