Heavy snowfall leads to headaches for drivers

Darlington and Stockton Times: Snow causes traffic chaos in Darlington Snow causes traffic chaos in Darlington

ROADS in a North-East town came to a standstill on Wednesday (February 13), after persistent snowfall led to treacherous driving conditions.

Heavy snow and freezing temperatures saw drifts of up to 15cm on higher ground and caused widespread travel chaos on the roads and in the air.

Snow fell from the early part of the day and continued for several hours, with as much as 15cm in some parts of the region, leading to slippy road surfaces by the afternoon rush-hour.

Vehicles on Victoria Road, in Darlington, struggled to get a grip of the road surface, as snow turned to slush on the sloping ring road.

Ten staff from the nearby Sainsbury’s store, as well as police officers and passers-by, worked to keep traffic moving by throwing salt on the icy road.

Paul Robinson, the store’s customer services manager, said: “It was all hands on deck, a lot of cars were getting stuck so colleagues were helping push them up the hill.

“The road slopes quite significantly outside our store, so we aided with vehicle recovery.”

Other main routes in the town were gridlocked by the evening rush-hour, with journeys from work to home taking two or three times longer than normal.

Elsewhere, flights were suspended at Durham Tees Valley Airport and household waste recycling centres had to close at Pity Me, Annfield Plain and Leadgate, in County Durham. There were no reports of any school closures.

Anticipating the snow, the Met Office had issued a severe weather warning for the region and police and councils urged motorists to take care on the roads.

Higher levels such as the North Pennines and North York Moors saw the deepest drifts.

By 9am, 10cm of snow had fallen in the Teesdale village of Copley, near Bishop Auckland.

Forecasters say Wednesday’s snowfall looks like being a one-off, with milder air from the west expected to see temperatures nudging towards 10C in the later part of the week.

Tony Conlan, a forecaster from MeteoGroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said: “Thursday looks mostly dry with sunny spells and a small chance of a shower over the Penines.

“Friday should definitely be dry, with plenty of sunshine.”

Mr Conlan said the region could look forward to a settled weekend.

Comments (14)

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6:28pm Wed 13 Feb 13

swissball says...

where were the bloody gritters? this has been forecast for days!!!
where were the bloody gritters? this has been forecast for days!!! swissball
  • Score: 9

6:47pm Wed 13 Feb 13

diga says...

It started snowing 10.00 this morning and a gritter finally showed up on the ring road about 3.30pm. It would be interesting to hear the council's explanation!
It started snowing 10.00 this morning and a gritter finally showed up on the ring road about 3.30pm. It would be interesting to hear the council's explanation! diga
  • Score: 7

7:00pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Darloresident says...

Croft bank was lethal at 4 this evening..Thanks to the guys who were scattering grit - Im sure they saved many shunts and bumps...
I agree with Diga..The gritters should have been out before lunch.
Croft bank was lethal at 4 this evening..Thanks to the guys who were scattering grit - Im sure they saved many shunts and bumps... I agree with Diga..The gritters should have been out before lunch. Darloresident
  • Score: 6

8:38pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Health and safety mate - you can't have gritters and council workmen out in the snow - it isn't safe
Health and safety mate - you can't have gritters and council workmen out in the snow - it isn't safe Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 5

10:38pm Wed 13 Feb 13

paul1963 says...

i dont think any amount of grit would have stopped the gridlock in darlington its like this in the middle of the summer ,its just poor traffic management ,and for there being no grit on the road the gritters have been out all day ive seen them and if the public knew any thing about gritting as they all claim to do they would know that by putting loads of grit down has little or no more effect than putting a small amount down the grit need the trafic to work it in so if the cars are at a stand still its wont work
i dont think any amount of grit would have stopped the gridlock in darlington its like this in the middle of the summer ,its just poor traffic management ,and for there being no grit on the road the gritters have been out all day ive seen them and if the public knew any thing about gritting as they all claim to do they would know that by putting loads of grit down has little or no more effect than putting a small amount down the grit need the trafic to work it in so if the cars are at a stand still its wont work paul1963
  • Score: 4

12:13am Thu 14 Feb 13

always right says...

IDIOTS
IDIOTS always right
  • Score: -3

8:28am Thu 14 Feb 13

giggitty says...

paul1963 wrote:
i dont think any amount of grit would have stopped the gridlock in darlington its like this in the middle of the summer ,its just poor traffic management ,and for there being no grit on the road the gritters have been out all day ive seen them and if the public knew any thing about gritting as they all claim to do they would know that by putting loads of grit down has little or no more effect than putting a small amount down the grit need the trafic to work it in so if the cars are at a stand still its wont work
BRAVO! At last, a person with sense.

Everyone thinks grit is miracle dust!

I don’t know why the councils, or newspapers or the potash mines don’t do some sort of public information realises to educate the public in to how salt works...............
. and more importantly where and when it won’t!
[quote][p][bold]paul1963[/bold] wrote: i dont think any amount of grit would have stopped the gridlock in darlington its like this in the middle of the summer ,its just poor traffic management ,and for there being no grit on the road the gritters have been out all day ive seen them and if the public knew any thing about gritting as they all claim to do they would know that by putting loads of grit down has little or no more effect than putting a small amount down the grit need the trafic to work it in so if the cars are at a stand still its wont work[/p][/quote]BRAVO! At last, a person with sense. Everyone thinks grit is miracle dust! I don’t know why the councils, or newspapers or the potash mines don’t do some sort of public information realises to educate the public in to how salt works............... . and more importantly where and when it won’t! giggitty
  • Score: 3

9:10am Thu 14 Feb 13

Ally F says...

Or you could buy some winter snow tyres for your car and change them late October through until March. (Ours worked a treat on a snow covered untreated farm track this morning.) It snows in Winter, how inconvenient eh?

It's not the gritters fault, if you don't prepare your car for winter conditions; snow tyres, shovel in the boot, etc., you can't really complain when you get stuck. Summer tyres are about as much use as slicks in snow and slush.

Look at the picture, bumper to bumper like lemmings - if just one car gets stuck and they all do. There's no room to rock a car back and forth, get round the car in front if it gets stuck or to reverse yourself out of trouble.

Driver ignorance and stupidity is as more at fault in wintry conditions as any failing on the part of the Local Authority Highways Department
Or you could buy some winter snow tyres for your car and change them late October through until March. (Ours worked a treat on a snow covered untreated farm track this morning.) It snows in Winter, how inconvenient eh? It's not the gritters fault, if you don't prepare your car for winter conditions; snow tyres, shovel in the boot, etc., you can't really complain when you get stuck. Summer tyres are about as much use as slicks in snow and slush. Look at the picture, bumper to bumper like lemmings - if just one car gets stuck and they all do. There's no room to rock a car back and forth, get round the car in front if it gets stuck or to reverse yourself out of trouble. Driver ignorance and stupidity is as more at fault in wintry conditions as any failing on the part of the Local Authority Highways Department Ally F
  • Score: 6

9:53am Thu 14 Feb 13

miketually says...

And how many of the people stuck in cars could have made the journey on foot?
And how many of the people stuck in cars could have made the journey on foot? miketually
  • Score: 1

11:20am Thu 14 Feb 13

Darryl222 says...

Gritters were not sent out till 1500 council fact
Gritters were not sent out till 1500 council fact Darryl222
  • Score: 3

11:47am Thu 14 Feb 13

Lough2017 says...

The government should make winter tyres law like it is in Germany there is no problem with cars getting stuck on the roads over there.
The government should make winter tyres law like it is in Germany there is no problem with cars getting stuck on the roads over there. Lough2017
  • Score: 1

2:01pm Thu 14 Feb 13

giggitty says...

Darryl222 wrote:
Gritters were not sent out till 1500 council fact
And your point is?
[quote][p][bold]Darryl222[/bold] wrote: Gritters were not sent out till 1500 council fact[/p][/quote]And your point is? giggitty
  • Score: -2

12:31am Sun 17 Feb 13

tomtopper says...

I did see a few gritters out in Durham this time, to be honest... However, peoples driving habits do leave a lot to be desired these days.. In an age of active stability control, abs, etc etc, drivers now have no feel nor understanding of their vehicles characteristics.. Never does this become more apparent than when it snows...
I did see a few gritters out in Durham this time, to be honest... However, peoples driving habits do leave a lot to be desired these days.. In an age of active stability control, abs, etc etc, drivers now have no feel nor understanding of their vehicles characteristics.. Never does this become more apparent than when it snows... tomtopper
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Duke of Aycliffe says...

Many drivers have no common sense people belt along as if it was a dry sunny day & don't anticipate the road conditions ahead ie. queueing traffic, then Bang! They've ran into the vehicle in front. " it wasn't my fault, it's the snow & ice." No, it is your fault because you drive like a prat.
Driving in & out of Darlington at rush hour is a pain in the backside & slow even during normal weather.
The main problem is that the road network in & around Darlington cannot cope with the sheer volume of traffic. Critics says use public transport my wife did a few weeks ago from Morton Park back to Newton Aycliffe & it cost her nearly £8.00!
Maybe the answer is more job creation outside & away from Darlington.
Many drivers have no common sense people belt along as if it was a dry sunny day & don't anticipate the road conditions ahead ie. queueing traffic, then Bang! They've ran into the vehicle in front. " it wasn't my fault, it's the snow & ice." No, it is your fault because you drive like a prat. Driving in & out of Darlington at rush hour is a pain in the backside & slow even during normal weather. The main problem is that the road network in & around Darlington cannot cope with the sheer volume of traffic. Critics says use public transport my wife did a few weeks ago from Morton Park back to Newton Aycliffe & it cost her nearly £8.00! Maybe the answer is more job creation outside & away from Darlington. Duke of Aycliffe
  • Score: 0

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