Roads 'very poor' as region wakes to snow and sub-zero temperatures
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Snow and overnight sub-zero temperatures have brought travel disruption across the region.
Norfolk police are advising people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary following Storm Darcy.
The county has been battered by snow and high winds overnight leaving some roads dangerous and an amber warning for snow remains in place until midday.
Freezing conditions resulting in snow and ice have also resulted in more than 350 schools across Norfolk being forced to close and saying they will not be able to take even vulnerable or key workers' children.
Drivers are being advised to travel only if absolutely necessary with road conditions described as “very poor” with large snow drifts blocking some routes.
Police said roads in and around Norwich were covered in compacted snow and ice that is making it extremely hazardous on the roads, especially on the smallest of inclines including Grapes Hill and Ketts Hill.
A number of cars had been stranded in the city.
Some major routes have been affected including the A47 between the James Paget Hospital and Hopton which had to be closed with drivers advised to avoid the area.
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There are snow drifts on the A140 between Hevingham and Marsham.
The A149 between Cromer and North Walsham has been blocked at Gunton due to drifting snow.
The road between Hoveton and Ludham remained blocked on Monday afternoon while snow was stopping travel on the Fakenham Road between Guist and Bawdeswell.
Meanwhile in south Norfolk the A140 at Long Stratton saw many broken down vehicles while a lorry had jackknifed between Long Stratton and Pulham Market closed the road.
The A146 at Hales towards Stockton the road was impassable due to the conditions. Lorries were also struggling on the A146 at Loddon.
A highways spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We have some very difficult driving conditions particularly across north Norfolk and south Norfolk, but not quite as treacherous in west Norfolk.
“We have had a significant impact from drifting snow from high winds overnight.
“Our gritting crews have now been continuously out since Saturday evening applying salt and gritting and we have also got the farming community assisting us too.
“Motorists should not take to the roads unless it is really essential.”
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: “Please only leave your home if absolutely necessary. Road conditions are very poor with large snow drifts blocking minor routes. If you must travel ensure you are prepared to recover your vehicle from drifts and are suitably clothed for the weather.”
The weather has also brought problems to public transport
Greater Anglia said some services had been affected in some parts of the region with no trains running between Cromer and Sheringham due to frozen points.
Trains are disrupted between Norwich and Thetford.
First Buses have suspended the X21 and X22 as well as the Charcoal Line , 40, 48 and X41 services.
Sanders Coaches said they would only be running services 44/X44 and 55/X55 on main roads only. All other services and all school buses are cancelled.
Simmons, Border Bus and Our Bus have cancelled all services.
The Met Office has issued severe amber snow warnings for much of the south east including Norfolk and Suffolk where heavy snow is likely to cause long delays on roads and with rail and air travel.
Snow accumulations of 5-10 centimetres have been reported across Norfolk but it has reached up to 30cm in "a few sites".
It will be another day of temperatures at or around freezing point, as cold conditions continue due to strong easterly winds stemming from Ukraine and the Black Sea.
Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest said the region would continue to feel bitterly cold with the continued risk of snow showers through Monday, with some longer spells of snow at times.
“Temperatures will be reluctant to rise much above freezing, in a moderate to strong east to northeasterly wind,” they added.
Some places will see gusts of 45-50mph that could see blizzard-like conditions in falling snow and could lead to further snow drifting.