Leeds was particularly badly-hit last night, with reports of abandoned cars and slow moving traffic on all main routes out of the city.
Some drivers reported moving less than a mile in two hours despite only around 3cm of snow falling there.
A number of Pennine roads above Huddersfield roads were closed as conditions became treacherous, including the A635 Greenfield Road at Holmfirth.
Dozens of motorists were trapped on high ground and many forced to abandon their vehicles.
But the wintry weather has melted away to more balmy conditions today, with temperatures expected to reach double figures.
Snow ploughs and gritters were called to the A1079 Arras hill at Market Weighton in East Yorkshire on Wednesday to attempt to clear the road and rescue drivers, many of whom were stuck for hours, the BBC said.
But they also became trapped on the snow-bound road, the main route between Hull and York.
Police said that at one point up to 40 vehicles were stuck in “very bleak” conditions. One motorist was stuck in his car for three and a half hours trying to get from Leeds to Beverley.
West Yorkshire Police also warned of dangers from poor weather conditions and concerns about icy roads on the Pennine roads above Huddersfield as rain replaces the snow.
The A635 Greenfield Road at Holmfirth is expected to remain closed until on Thursday morning, and the A628 Woodhead Pass in Derbyshire was shut because of severe weather, the Highways Agency said.
Traffic problems were also reported in Sheffield, where a number of bus services were affected, and in York and Hull.
Widespread delays also hit the rail network last night following power supply disruptions, which saw 26,000 properties in York cut off.
Northern Powergrid said there were temporary problems with the national grid relating to the weather.
The power cuts affected signalling on the railways and services were hit in South, West and North Yorkshire, leaving passengers stranded on platforms. Signalling could not immediately be restored after power supplies resumed.
The cold snap will be shortlived, though, heralding drier, warmer and sunnier weather for the rest of the week, forecasters predict.
The mercury could rise as high as 9C in the North tomorrow while temperatures of up to 12C are predicted in the South.
The AA has warned drivers to be aware of the risk of flooding as the snow and ice melts. It expected to have attended 12,000 breakdowns yesterday, including 33 cars stuck in snow or water.
After Wednesday’s snowfall the UK will see much milder weather on Thursday, forecasters said.
There will be no more snow this week, but instead dry, sunny weather, according to Sally Webb, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association.
“Heavy rain falling across much of England and Wales this morning will clear through the South East around noon, leaving a largely dry and sunny day,” she said.