An RAC patrolman was found by a mountain rescue team today after spending 12 hours trapped in snow on remote moors, the motoring organisation confirmed.

Police and RAF rescue helicopters both struggled to reach the mechanic who was stranded in horrendous weather conditions at Rosedale Abbey, high on the North York Moors.

He was eventually reached by an RAF mountain rescue team shortly before 6am.

An RAC spokeswoman said the patrolman had gone up on the moors yesterday evening to help a 4x4 driver.

She said he managed to get the motorist on his way but found his van stuck in the worsening conditions.

He is reported to be safe and well.

The spokeswoman said: ''He was up there for about 12 hours and he's been checked over and seems to be OK.

''It seems his training has paid off and it emphasises what we've been telling all drivers about keeping warm and being prepared.

''It just shows that if the weather can catch out the professionals like this, how all drivers have to be very careful and prepared.''

She said the driver had been with the RAC for a couple of years and has a young family.

A severe weather warning has been issued for the whole of the Yorkshire area, with reports of 10 inches falling on the high Pennines, drifting to 3ft.

The A169 Pickering to Whitby road across the North York Moors was closed overnight, along with the A66 cross-Pennine route.

A number of minor roads were also closed, with West Yorkshire Police reporting particular problems in the Halifax and Huddersfield areas.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed they were alerted to the stranded patrol at about 10pm by the RAC.

A spokesman for the RAF's rescue service said a helicopter from RAF Leconfield was scrambled but could not get closer than about six miles from the trapped mechanic due to blizzard conditions.

He said an RAF mountain rescue team from RAF Leeming, near York, managed to reach the van after it drove on to the moors using 4x4 vehicles.

The spokesman said the team found the driver with the help of a local farmer.