Larisa leaves chaos in her wake... and it’s not over yet!
HUNDREDS of drivers spent the night trapped in their cars as blizzards brought swathes of the country to a standstill yesterday.
Rail lines were suspended and schools closed across northern England with 50mph winds and up to 1ft of snow in the wake of Storm Larisa.
Last night forecasters warned that after a ‘brief respite’ today, further snowfall was expected next week as cold conditions return, making it feel more like midwinter than early spring.
Motorists on the M62 between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire were stranded for up to nine hours on Thursday night as lorries skidded out of control.
Drivers said they had been abandoned in traffic backing up for as much as 17 miles, but police and highways chiefs accused some of ignoring warnings.
NHS worker Emma Hamilton, 28, said she had been stuck for eight hours travelling from Manchester to Yorkshire.
She added that drivers had to ‘work out themselves’ how to get past stranded lorries because of a ‘lack of any direction from authorities’.
Writing on Twitter at 3.40am, Greater Manchester Police’s traffic unit said it was ‘doing our best, but ploughing/gritting have been severely delayed due to the hard shoulder and red X lanes being blocked by some drivers illegally using them’.
Andrew Page-Dove of National Highways said his teams ‘threw everything’ at keeping traffic moving on two lanes of the M62 but some drivers ignored ‘lane closed’ signs, leading to them becoming stuck on the trans-Pennine route.
Derbyshire Police yesterday urged drivers in the Peak District not to travel ‘unless absolutely necessary’ as many roads in the area were ‘impassable’. Major routes from Leicestershire to County Durham were also shut.
Train services were cancelled across northern England and Wales, affecting areas including Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Merseyside and Chester.
The Met Office said the deepest snow was 27cm (10.6in) at Capel Curig in north Wales. A low of -13.6C (7.5F) was recorded in Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands.
A yellow warning for snow and ice covers much of northern England and Scotland from 3pm today to 6am tomorrow, with more cold air on the way from Monday.
‘Lack of any direction from authorities’