Cumbria Police have declared a major incident due to heavy snowfall on the county’s roads and said people should only travel when necessary.
The force said a multi-agency response was underway on Saturday afternoon to “reduce the challenges of heavy snow on the county’s road network”.
Cumbria Police said the M6 southbound between J38 and J37 was blocked by lorries with knives and the A595 between Millom and Furness was impassable.
National Highways said they were also dealing with a large number of stranded vehicles on Saturday afternoon, particularly on the M6 between J38 and J40.
Earlier on Saturday, Cumbria Police said they were aware of multiple reports of vehicles stuck in traffic in the South Lakes area, particularly in the Bowness and Grizedale areas, due to the snow.
A multi-agency response is underway to reduce the challenges of heavy snowfall on the county’s road network.
Agencies are aware of multiple reports of vehicles stuck in traffic in the South Lakes area.
Read more here 👉 https://t.co/0Vp0TtdoNY pic.twitter.com/EvTerRuC3d
— Cumbria Police (@Cumbriapolice) December 2, 2023
Superintendent Andy Wilkinson said: “Agencies across Cumbria are working together in response to the continued impact of heavy snow on the county’s roads.
“We are working fast, to help clear roads so that those currently affected can move.
“I would advise anyone thinking of traveling in Cumbria tonight, to do so only if absolutely necessary. The predicted cold temperatures will make road conditions even more difficult.”
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for snow in Cumbria across Saturday, saying 10-15cm of snow is possible in some areas before showers start to ease overnight.
The weather service said there was a “good chance some rural communities could be cut off” and that power cuts were likely to be affected, and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, could be affected.
It also issued a yellow warning for ice from midnight to 11am on Sunday in Cumbria and north Lancashire, saying “a few snow flurries could continue into the early hours of Sunday, but the main danger is any to refreeze melted snow, or freeze lying snow”.
Met Office chief meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Snow could be heavy at times across Cumbria with thunderstorms… 10-15cm of snow is possible before showers start to ease overnight.
“A low pressure system will bring less cold but more unsettled weather to the south of the UK from tonight, although northern areas (will) continue to be cold with wintry showers and heavy frosts overnight.
“Many areas in England and Wales can expect periods of rain there at the start of next week, which could be heavy at times and there is a risk of flooding. Further snow could be seen on higher hills across parts of North Wales and Northern England.”
The weather service said the Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland regions of Scotland were likely to see the lowest temperatures on Saturday night, with minus 12C possible in some valleys in these regions.
The Met Office has also issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice from 6pm on Saturday to 12pm on Sunday covering much of the Midlands, Yorkshire, north east and north west England, and north and mid Wales.
The weather service said that although snow will not accumulate everywhere, some places are likely to see 1-3cm, with 5-10cm possible over some hills and mountains in Wales, the Peak District and the South Pennines.
The forecaster said icy patches are likely on untreated roads, footpaths and cycle paths, leading to “some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces”.
He warned that some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with longer journey times by road, bus and train.
In Wales, the A470 between Llechwedd, Blaenau Ffestiniog, towards the Crimea Pass was closed due to the weather on Saturday evening as North Wales Police told motorists to avoid the area.
The Met Office has also issued a yellow ice warning from midnight to 8am on Sunday for London, the East of England, the West Midlands and parts of South Wales.
The weather service warned that areas of rain or sleet falling on frozen surfaces could lead to icy conditions and that some injuries could result from slips and falls.
He added: “Rain or sleet is expected to spread from west to east across the area overnight, falling on frozen surfaces and leading to icy patches, possibly even where treatment has been applied. “
Glasgow Airport temporarily suspended all flights on Saturday morning, with transport hub X, formerly known as Twitter, posting at 7.24am that it was doing so due to “heavier snow than forecast”. .
At 10.20am, the airport said: “Our runway is now fully operational again and we are working with our airline partners and their handlers to resume flight schedules.”
It’s not just us who feel the cold, our pets can also struggle during the winter months.
— Met Office (@metoffice) December 2, 2023
The UK’s Health Security Agency and the Met Office have issued amber cold health alerts in five regions – East Midlands, West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber – until December 5, meaning “there is likely to be an impact of cold weather. felt across the whole health service for a long period of time”.