POLICE have issued a warning to motorists not to ignore road closures after a number of cars became stranded in snow on rural roads in County Durham.
Emergency services and councils across the region have been out all weekend clearing routes of snow, floods, fallen trees and downed cables caused by Storm Arwen.

Some roads remain shut this morning, including the A66 which is closed in both directions between the A685 near Brough, in Cumbria, and the A1(M) Junction 53 at Scotch Corner.

Read more: Storm Arwen is gone, but snow and ice warning remains

Efforts are ongoing by police and National Highways Traffic Officers, gritters and snowploughs to remove stranded vehicles and treat the road surface.

The closure is expected to remain in place throughout this morning. 

Some other routes, particularly high, exposed roads are still impassable.

Authorities have urged motorists to consider whether their journey is necessary, to check their route before they travel and allow extra time.

Officers from Durham Special Constabulary's road policing unit have been out and about rescuing the occupants of cars that became stranded in the Dales.

They released photographs of a number of vehicles that got stuck in snow, hoping they would act as a warning to other motorists not to ignore road closures.

The Northern Echo:

Officers who rescued motorists in rural County Durham at the weekend urge people not to ignore road closure signs

A spokesperson said: "Our car can get to most places and we'll go wherever we can to help.

"Some of the minor roads remain poor in Teesdale, along with cables and trees down, yet some motorists are ignoring the road closures.

"Please don't venture off the main roads unnecessarily and watch out for signs!"

Elsewhere in the North East and North Yorkshire, a number of routes are impassable including the B1269 Yearby Bank, near Guisborough, which is shut both ways between A174 and A173 Skelton Ellers.

North Yorkshire Police said whilst Storm Arwen has died down, snow and ice is causing problems on the county's roads today.

A spokerson said: "Overnight, some have been caught out by the weather so by taking a few precautions prior to travelling, if you do find yourself stranded at least you will be safe and warm.

"It is really slippery out there this morning. If you do have to go out, please, take care and prepare."

The force issued the following winter driving tips:

  • Take some warm, preferably hi-visibility clothing and a blanket
  • Take a fully charged mobile phone with you
  • Keep a torch handy (and spare batteries)
  • Snow spade or shovel
  • A supply of energy bars or chocolate and a flask with a hot drink
  • Wellies, hat, gloves and thick socks in case you need to dig yourself out
  • De-icer and ice scraper
  • Try to stick to main roads. They are more likely to have been gritted
  • Drive 'gently' and avoid any harsh braking or accelerating that could cause you to skid
  • Keep your windscreen clear of ice and snow. It's illegal to drive without full visibility
  • Carry a first aid kit, a warning triangle and some carpet to place under the drive wheels in case you get stuck
  • Move off in second gear to help reduce wheel slip
  • If you skid, don't panic. Steer gently into it, don't take your hands off the steering wheel and don't stamp on the brakes.

Further information on major roads is available from National Highways by visiting trafficengland.com 


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