Blizzards hit Yorkshire as mercury plummets

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BLIZZARD-LIKE conditions arrived in Yorkshire this morning, causing traffic delays and bringing a warning of more bad weather to come.

The centre of Leeds saw heavy snowfall at 9am, following earlier heavy falls to the north of the county.

The scene  in Lockton, North Yorkshire

The scene in Lockton, North Yorkshire

Leeds City Council last night issued a statement saying it believed there could be “sustained wintry showers” from 2am possibly into morning rush hour causing travel disruption.

A spokesman said: “Snow accumulation difficult to predict and may be localised. Please take extra care on the road and allow longer for journey times.”

In South Yorkshire, there were delays on the A630 south of Rotherham.

Nationally, more than 100 schools and nurseries have been shut and many roads closed.

The Met Office has issued yellow “be aware” warnings of snow, ice and wind across the whole of the UK apart from Orkney and Shetland today.

In the Highlands and Islands 98 schools and nurseries have been shut while eight in Perth and Kinross and five in Shetland have been closed.

Dozens of schools in Northern Ireland have also been closed because of bad weather.

There have been more than 20 minor collisions on roads in the Highlands while a jack-knifed lorry caused disruption on the A9 south of Newtonmore.

Traffic Scotland said there was heavy snow at the Rest And Be Thankful in Argyll and Bute, while on the A9 lorries stuck in snow caused delays for a time.

ScotRail said that no trains would operate from 6pm today until 6pm tomorrow on the Helensburgh to Dumbarton Central, Kilwinning to Largs/Ardrossan, Kyle to Dingwall and Glasgow to Fort William/Mallaig/Oban routes.

This evening buses will replace sleepers southbound from Fort William to Edinburgh while customers travelling northbound towards Fort William tomorrow morning will be transferred to buses at Kingussie.

It comes after blizzards disrupted travel and closed schools in Scotland yesterday.

Gritters were out in force last night and commuters have been told to expect some delays and cancellations of services.

In Aberdeenshire the A93 Glenshee to Braemar route was closed, as was the B974 Banchory to Fettercairn road and the A939 Ballater to Corgarff.

In the Highlands Newhall Bridge B9163 on the Black Isle is closed until further notice due to structural damage and Struie Hill Road B9176 remains closed due to fallen trees.

In Wester Ross the Bealach Na Ba road is closed today as was the B9007 in Badenoch and Strathspey. In the Nairn area both the A939 and B9007 have been closed due to drifting snow.

Forecasters said that the wintry weather is set to continue into the weekend.

Met Office spokesman Jonathan Hunter said: “Today we’ve got a wind warning over most of the UK until 11.30pm. We could see 50-60mph winds.

“We’ve also had snow and ice warnings for most of Scotland until midday today, after which there should be slightly less snow.

“Tomorrow we may see wintry showers across the UK with sleet, snow and rain.

“There may be strong winds tomorrow but easing through the day. On Friday and towards the weekend it will be really cold and we may see some snow showers in the North and at high levels.”

Today’s weather follows last week’s fierce storms which left 120,000 properties without power in Scotland.

The wintry blast took effect in Scotland yesterday, forcing the closure of more than 30 schools in the Highlands and creating difficult driving conditions.

Road operator Bear Scotland said its teams were working around the clock to keep routes clear, while Police Scotland said drivers should ask whether their journey is really necessary before getting behind the wheel.

Chief Inspector Louise Blakelock said: “If you do decide to travel, ensure your vehicle is well prepared before setting off, make sure your windscreens are completely free of snow and ice, and your lights are working and clean.”

“A few reports of cars slipping and at least one jack-knifed lorry. No injuries so far thankfully. Please take care out there.”

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