Motorists stranded by snap Christmas Eve blizzard in Whitby

POLICE and coastguards have been called to help a number of drivers stuck in cars after a snap blizzard hit the Whitby area of North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police said they began to receive calls from about 2pm on Friday from motorists stuck on steep routes including Blue Bank, near Sleights, and Lythe Bank, near Sandsend.

A police spokesman said the A169 between Sleights and Lockton, across Flyingdales Moors, had to be closed.

Humber Coastguard said it had been assisting police following the arrival of the heavy snow.

A spokeswoman said the Whitby Coastguard Rescue Team using 4x4 vehicles helped by transporting police officers to areas around Whitby where vehicles were stranded.

She said the Blue Bank area, which takes the A169 from the Esk Valley up on to the Goathland, was badly affected and a police 4x4 vehicle was being used to help those trapped with their vehicles.

Humber Coastguard watch officer Katie Gellatly said: "Humber Coastguard and our teams are more than happy to help colleagues in other emergency services during difficult times. Along with other authorities, we urge road users to venture out only when absolutely necessary throughout this current spell of bad weather."