York & North Yorkshire

A1 closed in North Yorkshire due to snow and ice

A 25-mile (40km) stretch of the A1 was closed northbound on Monday following a series of accidents.

North Yorkshire Police said they had attended 54 collisions across the county between midnight and 10:00 GMT but no-one was badly hurt.

The fire service said up to 20 lorries had jack-knifed on the A1 between Allerton Park and the Catterick.

The closure had caused major traffic queues with many drivers stuck in their vehicles for more than four hours.

By 06:00 GMT on Monday, the A1 northbound was closed from Dishforth to Catterick and southbound between Leeming Bar and Catterick.

The A1M was also closed between junction 47 at Allerton Park and junction 49 at Dishforth.

'Minor injuries'

The A1 and the A1M were both reopened to traffic by lunchtime on Monday after abandoned vehicles had been removed.

Ben Cairns, from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the incidents had begun on the A1 at 02:15 GMT.

Mr Cairns said: "We were called to 11 incidents on the A1 overnight and speaking to the ambulance crews they had been to 17 on the A1 alone. Luckily all of those involved only minor injuries."

Ch Insp Steve Smith, from North Yorkshire Police, said they had been "extremely busy" overnight due to the high number of accidents.

He said: "We have had a series of reports up and down the A1 of vehicles or drivers just not able to cope with the conditions.

"The conditions were such that the road has turned into something of an ice rink."

'Perilous' conditions

Alan Mason, operations manager for the Highways Agency, said whilst the road had been salted on Sunday night, freezing rain had led to "perilous" conditions.

He said: "The rain that comes down through the clouds is so cold it falls as rain but the minute it hits something solid it freezes. When it hits the road surface it turns immediately to ice."

Image caption The closure of the A1 caused major tail backs on neighbouring routes

Church Fenton in North Yorkshire recorded a temperature of -8.6C on Monday morning.

North Yorkshire saw some of the heaviest snowfall in the region over the weekend, with Church Fenton near Tadcaster reporting 16cm (6in) of snow on Saturday night.

The Met Office warned of more freezing conditions overnight on Monday and police have warned drivers to be "extremely" careful.

Insp John Wilkinson, from North Yorkshire Police, said: "If you do need to travel go steady, go slow and give driving your full attention."

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