UK & World News
Weather: Snow Storm Brings M6 To Standstill
Motorists have criticised the response of emergency services after snow caused the closure of a section of the M6 motorway in Lancashire.
Hundreds of drivers spent up to eight hours stuck in their vehicles, while others abandoned their cars on the M6 in Lancashire after a foot of snow fell on Friday night.
The motorway became blocked in both directions between junctions 25 and 27, near Wigan.
And the turbulent weather is expected to continue as heavy rain and rising temperatures spark flooding fears.
Many drivers were affected along the stretch between Wigan and Standish after struggling to make it up inclines in the treacherous conditions, while a number of accidents including jack-knifed lorries also blocked lanes.
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Huge sympathy for those affected by heavy #uksnow. Govt working closely with transport operators to minimise impact on everyone."
Mountain rescue teams were brought in to help police and the Highways Agency clear roads and assist those who were stranded.
One man had to be taken to hospital after becoming ill in his car while it was stuck.
And some of the stranded drivers passed the time with snowball fights and building snowmen.
The M6, as well as the M56 and M58 which were also blocked, are now all moving again but remain heavily congested with long tailbacks, Lancashire Police said.
Motorists contacted Sky News overnight to share their tales of woe.
Kevin Collister, stuck on the motorway just past the M58 junction heading northbound, said: "There is absolutely no movement whatsoever on my side of the carriageway, all the snow is squashed down into ice and there are wagons trying to move and sliding sideways.
"It's an absolute nightmare, we've been here for three hours so far. A few people are saying we might be here for the night but we're just hoping we can get through."
Conservative MP David Morris, stuck on the southbound carriageway, said: "We've ground to a halt on both sides. Nothing is really moving.
"But the emergency services have been fantastic and are doing the best for us, and everyone is in good spirits.
"I've just seen a snowball fight and the man next door to me has built a snowman on top of his car roof ... it's very surreal."
Barry Pinches, on his way to Blackpool, told Sky News: "At one stage we didn't think we would make it but it looks like things are moving slowly now. We saw some snow ploughs on the southbound carriageway but there doesn't seem to be too many of them - they have their work cut out."
Pete Martin, from the Highways Agency, confirmed to Sky News that the carriageways had been gritted before the snow came down.
"We had an extremely intense fall of snow across Lancashire between 8.30pm and midnight and basically there wasn't enough traffic to keep the lanes moving," he said.
"A number of HGVs lost traction between junctions 25 and 27 and once they blocked the carriageway the snow stacked up and the result was a number of stranded vehicles."
The agency worked throughout the night to clear the routes with snow ploughs. It urged those who had abandoned their cars to return to them as soon as possible.
A spokesman said: "With the rain falling and ice melting onto very cold road surfaces, we are now warning drivers of the danger of ice."
what do you think?
Britain struggles to cope in snow shocker!
Windows Live User
Does this ever happen in Sweden or Norway or the likes? They seem to just go magically on with it
Windows have you got winter tyres on your car.
Windows, we don't get this weather on a regular basis, so we will struggle.Those countries have to invest heavily on equipment, and they prepare for bad weather because it is guaranteed. Why is everyone singing the same old song about other countries coping ? Typical whinge that we get on here every time it snows.
Isn't our bad weather guaranteed?
Well, statistically, the weather is a shocker - very unusual but short-lived. Hardly worth the investment made in Scandinavia for months of heavy snow! People always struggle to cope in unusual circumstances for the reason they are simply not common.
Come on britain, pull your man pants up... jeezzzzzz
Its got to be said that the forecasters again got this spot on and plenty of warnings were given out.we are quick to critisize the met office when they get it wrong, which isnt an exact science, but we should also give them credit when they get it right.
Windows Live User
"Getting it Right" Isnt this what they get paid for?
No, Windows. They get paid to make a forecast, an informed guess, but things can change quickly and catch out forecasters. They do as well as can be expected, but nowhere near as perfect as you, in your job, i suspect.
Indeed, they were right, brilliant. That's not my point. My point is that even when the met office give out warnings we STILL struggle. Same every year.
M61 last night at 10 o'clock took Five hours to travel 18 miles with some people just stranded
They were spot on with their forecast I must admit so we were well prepared. Snowed for hours and we are now blocked in but it is thawing.
Do peaple on here think we should have winter tyres fitted on our cars by law after december 1 st each year.remember they cost £250 each to fit a citreon.look forward to your replys.dont just put thumbs up or down
No let the tyres down slightly keep the gears low and refs high try to avoid the brake pedal and I find I don't have any problem driving in the snow
You seem a bit obsessed with winter tyres, they are not really necessary in this country if people just use a bit of common sense
Well yes ive explained before but their are STILL some peaple comparing us to sweden and norway where i lived for a while.i happened to speak to the family over there i know and there amazed at the headlines here all the time.though they dont know our climate any more than many on here no theirs.anyway my freinds said that if such an incident occured in norway like on the m6 last night. The headline would read,MAN JOINS MOTORWAY WITH SUMMER TYRES ON.and joins many others slipping about doing the same.
If peaple want us to be prepared like northern europe than obviously we have also got to be prepared to pay for it.
I don't think it would make much difference, really. Winter tyres probably slip on ice just as much as summer ones. How can a winter tyre grip into ice? The ice seems to be more trouble than the snow. If you can drive around on snow in winter tyres, the shops will be empty when you get there, nobody will be at your work place. The snow gets so deep, even 4 by 4 cars can't go anywhere, I think. Then when the roads are cleared it's back to ice everywhere. I don't believe winter tyres work on ice, is what I think. Now I think of it, do summer tyres work better on ice? That would be strange.
Theres a new rubber compound that provides much more grip, also deep treads.also the buses and lorries have tyres with studs in them.its mandatory to fiy such tyres in winter in norway and sweden.
Paul it is against the law to drive with under inflated tyres, as well as nuts, an why high reves? this only causes to spiral out of control, low revs and be in the highest gear that the vehicle will tolerate, is the way forward
THE ANSWER IS OUT THERE TO STOP THIS..hire people from norway and sweden 5 ft of snow and nothing closes here 5 inches and carnage
It is difficult there when heavy snow falls in my experience! Perhaps you think it would be wise to spend the money our country doesn't have on stocking up on equipment for the couple of days a year (only some years!) it snows. Seems like a waste to me. Cheaper and safer to just stay at home. In countries which expect long periods of snow, of course they invest in such events.
Country comes to a halt... Well thats what happens when you fill the country with pen pushing office workers and takeaway restaurant owners. hahahahahaha laughable lot.
I think we prepared quite well on this occasion, the problem is that a lot of people's belief in their driving far exceeds their ability.
Correct Lorgar.I dont particularly enjoy driving in deep snow but never had a problem in my 46 years behind the wheel.Incidently we had approx 6 to 8" overnight in my area of Lancashire.
The way my freinds from norway put it was." Its like us going out in the snow with our plymsolls on"referring to the m6 mayhem and summer tyres.
I wonder how many people who were stuck in the snow on the M6 was actually on a mission or just out there for the fun of it.As we are told often enough "is your journey absolutely neccersary".Even the truck drivers journeys are NOT always neccersary,it's the the pen pushers in their cosy offices that INSIST the drivers go out knowing full well what the outcome will be,believe me i know,i am a truck driver.
you hit it on the head robert, I am also a truck driver and I was sent out