Snow blizzards cause chaos in the midlands as six inches fall in a few hours

January 18, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

The Midlands was one of the worst affected areas in the UK today as blizzards swept in causing travel chaos.

Up to six inches of snow fell in just a few hours as arctic conditions gripped Birmingham and surrounding counties.

Traffic ground to a halt after several accidents shut main roads into and out of the second city while other major commuter routes became clogged as hundreds of workers battled home at lunchtime before conditions worsened.

Snow covers Rednal Hill Lane, Rednal, South Birmingham, as forecast warned of further heavy show

Snow covers Rednal Hill Lane, Rednal, South Birmingham, as forecast warned of further heavy show

In Warwickshire one lane of the M42 was closed after an accident between junction nine and 10, causing heavy congestion back to junction seven.

The Highways Agency also said the A38 in Fradley, Staffs., had been blocked by a van that had overturned in the bad weather.

About 130 schools in the West Midlands and 120 in Staffordshire were closed, as well as 230 across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Birmingham Airport remained open until lunchtime when departures became delayed and arrivals were diverted.

National Express said buses throughout the West Midlands had been diverted to avoid the worst of the snow, with some services terminating early.

Blackbuck Antilope enjoy their snowy surroundings today at West Midlands Safari Park, Bewdley

Blackbuck Antilope enjoy their snowy surroundings today at West Midlands Safari Park, Bewdley

Trains remained running but heavy delays were reported on London Midland services.

Friday afternoon’s race meeting at Wolverhampton’s all-weather surface was abandoned due to snow.

Meanwhile, farmer Jim Jones, 26, from Worthen, Shrops., said he was planning to travel to his wedding in a tractor to make sure he could get to the church in time.

He was due to get married to Heather Morris, 24, at Chirbury Church at 11:30 yesterday.

Mr Jones said: “We chose today 14 months ago and didn’t think we’d get this.

“We’ve been following the weather very closely.

“There’s family coming from Southampton, some have flown across the Atlantic.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service issued warnings for drivers not to drive unless completely necessary.

A spokeswoman said: “Please avoid or delay any unnecessary journeys. If you really need to travel by road, make sure you allow extra time for your journey and be extra vigilant on icy and snow covered roads.

“Motorists should consider carrying a few essentials with them in the winter months in case of a breakdown or delay such as an ice-scraper, torch, warm clothes and a blanket, a pair of boots, a first aid kit, battery jump leads, a snow shovel and food and drink.

“If you’re heading off on a long journey, make sure your mobile phone is also fully charged.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were also advising drivers to avoid the roads.

A spokesman said: “If you haven’t got to make a journey, keep off the roads because you’re potentially putting yourself and other drivers at risk.”

A Met Office spokesperson said heavy snowfall was expected to continue overnight.

He said: “The Midlands has been one of the worst affected areas. In particular there have been a lot of problems across Birmingham as a result of heavy and sustained snowfall.

“The gusty conditions have not helped. We are expecting around 12 centimetres across some of the Midlands and another couple of centimetres of snow on Saturday.”

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