Warning to North East drivers as snow closes in - GALLERY

MORE snow is on its way and temperatures are set to plunge as the North East is gripped by the latest cold snap.

MORE snow is on its way and temperatures are set to plunge as the North East is gripped by the latest cold snap.

Drivers and pedestrians have been warned to take extra care ahead of potentially heavy snow showers later today, with temperatures dipping to -8C in rural areas.

An amber warning issued by the Met Office asking people to “be prepared” for snow remains in place, with further wintry showers set to return on Friday.

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Last night forecasters predicted people could be opening their curtains to up to 10cm of snow and further flurries are expected this afternoon.

Yesterday several schools in Northumberland and Durham were forced to close, driving conditions became treacherous and flights were disrupted as the band of heavy snow arrived.

On the roads dangerous driving conditions led to a three-vehicle accident on the A697 in Morpeth at 1pm yesterday at the Whinny Lane junction. Those involved are not believed to have sustained serious injuries.

And at 11.55am a taxi skidded and overturned in Battle Hill Drive, Wallsend. Firefighters had to cut through the back windscreen to rescue the driver and passenger, who were uninjured.

Durham Police said ice and snow on the B6309 at Ebchester Hill, near Consett, caused problems between the A694 junction in Ebchester and the A692 junction in Leadgate. Rothbury in Northumberland was one of the areas to see heaviest snowfall, which resulted in restricted access for buses.

Travellers at Newcastle Airport were hit by delays as snow was cleared from the runway and Durham Tees Valley airport was forced to close for several hours.

Large swathes of the UK were also struck by heavy snow, with the East Midlands and East Anglia worst affected, along with the North East.

The AA said it had attended around 9,000 breakdowns across the country – including 23 cars stuck in snow, mainly in the Grampians in Scotland, Oxfordshire and the East Midlands.

Forecasters said temperatures in Scotland, the North East and Eastern England will struggle to rise above zero, while London will get to around 3C. The warmest place in the country will be Cornwall, which will get to around 8C.

The AA warned drivers to be prepared and carry winter kit in their cars while the RAC said it had extra patrols on the road as it expected up to 56,000 breakdowns and widespread disruption.

The weather did not slow some drivers. Kent officers stopped one who had been doing 110mph on the M2 in the snow.

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