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Heavy snow leads to road problems in Suffolk and Essex

PUBLISHED: 09:45 10 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:45 10 December 2017

Snow falling on the Christmas tree on Ipswich Cornhill.  Picture BRAD JONES

Snow falling on the Christmas tree on Ipswich Cornhill. Picture BRAD JONES

Archant

Snow started to fall across Suffolk and Essex today which led to widespread travel disruption.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for snow from 4am today until 11.55pm, and those predictions were proved right.

Snow was falling in the west of Suffolk at 5.30am. It turned to rain by 7am but by 9am it was falling heavily but had stopped by 12.30pm. It started to fall in Ipswich at around 9.30am.

Rooftops of Wethersfield, Essex covered insnow. Picture: Kelleyann Phythian Rooftops of Wethersfield, Essex covered insnow. Picture: Kelleyann Phythian

Roads around Suffolk quickly became treacherous and motorists were advised by police to delay any non-essential journeys.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said they had not had any reports of major incidents but there had been a series of minor shunts where drivers were exchanging details.

There were still some people who ventured into Ipswich town centre - with the Christmas Market being held on Sunday. Picture: BRAD JONES There were still some people who ventured into Ipswich town centre - with the Christmas Market being held on Sunday. Picture: BRAD JONES

“But we have had nothing of a serious nature so far,” he said.

There were reports of problems on the A12 with traffic struggling on the Suffolk Essex border at Dedham.

Snow on the waterfront at Ipswich. Picture: Matt Stott Snow on the waterfront at Ipswich. Picture: Matt Stott

A lorry was also finding difficulties on the westbound carriageway of the A14 on the Orwell Bridge which had to be closed for a short while and some of the roads in Ipswich with inclines including Fonnereau Road, Cambridge Road, Bishop’s Hill and Wherstead Road were also becoming difficult to negotiate.

“But people are heeding advice and those who had plans to go out look as if they have decided not to,” he added.

Much of the A12 was hit by delays as traffic came to a standstill.

They included delays of six minutes on Grove Road, northbound, between Kennels Road and Hasketon Road, in Woodbridge; severe delays of 23 minutes between London Road and Hughes Road, in East Bergholt; and at the Copdock interchange.

Motorists were advised to only travel if it was necessary - there was little traffic in Ipswich town centre. Picture: BRAD JONES Motorists were advised to only travel if it was necessary - there was little traffic in Ipswich town centre. Picture: BRAD JONES

The A14 westbound between junction 57 Nacton Road and J55 the A12 was also hit as was the Ipswich bypass near Ipswich Hospital and further along at Yarmouth Road.

The Essex Weather Centre said that conditions were deteriorating quickly as the transition from rain to snow began.

Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott

The Northern Approach Road, in Colchester, was almost impossible to negotiate while in Mile End Road men were helping to push cars up the road.

In Braintree the Freeport centre had closed for the day because of the weather while roads in the area and along the A120 had also been closed.

Snow falls in Boxted. Picture: Will Lodge Snow falls in Boxted. Picture: Will Lodge

A spokesman at Freeport said: “Yes, we have closed for the day becaase of the inclement weather. The roads are terrible and we are advising people not to travel to the centre.”

Stansted Airport closed while staff worked on clearing the runway of snow and ice but was opened at 12.30pm.

Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott

Suffolk Highways said they would be gritting priority 1 routes from 11.30am today and told motorists to stay safe and drive to the conditions.

While in Haverhill police said it was becoming difficult for their police cars to respond to incidents because of the state of the roads.

Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott Holywells Park covered in snow. Picture: Matthew Stott

Jane Storey, the deputy leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “The gritters went out at 11.30am from our depots in Bury St Edmunds, Halesworth and Ipswich.

“They have been challenging conditions for us but not a severe weather event and it is now slowly clearing but we could potentially end up with black ice later today.”

Evie Jones with her snowman in Ipswich. Picture: ANDREA JONES Evie Jones with her snowman in Ipswich. Picture: ANDREA JONES

There were no reports of any problems with the train services in the area because of the weather.

The Met Office said up to nearly four inches could fall in places within the warning area, with nearly eight inches possible in a few places on higher ground.

Cars negotiating Woolhall Street, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Russell Cook Cars negotiating Woolhall Street, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Russell Cook

The snowfall could cause road, rail and air disruption and forecasters warned there is potential for vehicles to become stranded or public transport cancelled.

The forecast for today is cloudy with periods of snow inland, rain near the coast, turning heavy in places with significant snow accumulations further west.

Snow falls in Boxted. Picture: Will Lodge Snow falls in Boxted. Picture: Will Lodge

Rain and snow will tend to ease later from the north but it was set to be very cold with the temperature staying near freezing in places.

Tonight is set to be cloudy and bitterly cold with further, mainly light, sleet or snow showers, though many parts will have a dry night.

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend

There is set to be a widespread sharp frost with areas of hazardous ice.

The Met Office said: “A spell of snow is expected over a central swathe of the UK on Sunday.

Snowing at Hadleigh, Suffolk. Picture: Kelly Webb Snowing at Hadleigh, Suffolk. Picture: Kelly Webb

“This snow starts to develop during the early hours of Sunday with the heaviest and most persistent snow then likely during Sunday morning.

“Within the warning area, 1-5cm of snow is possible quite widely with up to 10cm in places. Over higher ground, 20cm is possible in a few places.”

Highways England is urging motorists to drive to the conditions and ensure vehicles are winter ready.

It tweeted: “Snow is forecast so we ask motorists to please drive to the conditions.

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend

“Prepare for any eventuality ensuring your vehicle is winter ready and making sure you have warm clothing, food, drink, required medication, boots, shovel and a torch.”

If you have any photos of the snow today email them to newsroom@archant.co.uk

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend

Snow is falling heavily in Great Leighs, Essex. Picture: NATALIE SADLER Snow is falling heavily in Great Leighs, Essex. Picture: NATALIE SADLER

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emily Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emily Townsend

Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend Snow scenes in Ipswich. Picture: Emilly Townsend

People of all ages took to the hill in Castle Park with their sledges. Picture: MARIANNE INKPEN People of all ages took to the hill in Castle Park with their sledges. Picture: MARIANNE INKPEN

Teddy Baker, aged three from Colchester, built his first snowman. Picture: RICHARD STRAMA Teddy Baker, aged three from Colchester, built his first snowman. Picture: RICHARD STRAMA

Snow at Pinewood in Ipswich this morning. Picture: PAUL BARRETT-NAYLOR Snow at Pinewood in Ipswich this morning. Picture: PAUL BARRETT-NAYLOR

The scene at Blackmore in Essex. Picture: PAT TAYLOR The scene at Blackmore in Essex. Picture: PAT TAYLOR

Snowy picture looking out to our garden in Kettleburgh. Picture: Nicky Hill Snowy picture looking out to our garden in Kettleburgh. Picture: Nicky Hill

Flowton in the snow. Picture: Susan Woods Flowton in the snow. Picture: Susan Woods

A snowy scene in Rushmere, Ipswich. Picture: TERRY HUNT A snowy scene in Rushmere, Ipswich. Picture: TERRY HUNT

A snowy backgarden in Stowmarket. Picture: JOHN STEWARD A snowy backgarden in Stowmarket. Picture: JOHN STEWARD

A picture postcard view of a snow-covered garden in Rushmere. Picture: TERRY HUNT A picture postcard view of a snow-covered garden in Rushmere. Picture: TERRY HUNT

Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed

Shelly Darwin and son, Riaz Darwin-Boyd made this snowman by the round pond in Christchurch Park. Picture: Shelly Darwin Shelly Darwin and son, Riaz Darwin-Boyd made this snowman by the round pond in Christchurch Park. Picture: Shelly Darwin

Lovely snowy duvet day in Assington. Picture: Mark Ferguson Lovely snowy duvet day in Assington. Picture: Mark Ferguson

Suffolk Young Farmers Santa Tractor Run coming through Framlingham. Picture: Steph Bennell Suffolk Young Farmers Santa Tractor Run coming through Framlingham. Picture: Steph Bennell

Shelly Darwin and son, Riaz Darwin-Boyd made this snowman by the round pond in Christchurch Park. Picture: Shelly Darwin Shelly Darwin and son, Riaz Darwin-Boyd made this snowman by the round pond in Christchurch Park. Picture: Shelly Darwin

Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed

Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed Snowy scenes from Ipswich. Picture: Contributed

East Bergholt snow scene. Picture: Tim Langridge East Bergholt snow scene. Picture: Tim Langridge

Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE

Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE

Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE Beautiful scenes from Christchurch Park, Ipswich. Picture: ADRIAN MEE

A winter wonderland on Broad Road Bocking! Picture: John Parish A winter wonderland on Broad Road Bocking! Picture: John Parish

Rudolph the Snowdeer, by Tracey and Danielle in Ipswich Rudolph the Snowdeer, by Tracey and Danielle in Ipswich

Elliot Gordon (6) and Isla Gordon (2) of Kesgrave made a Ipswich Town snow supporter! Picture: Fay Trenter Elliot Gordon (6) and Isla Gordon (2) of Kesgrave made a Ipswich Town snow supporter! Picture: Fay Trenter

Snowman at Berechurch Barbers. Picture: Katie sutton Snowman at Berechurch Barbers. Picture: Katie sutton

Snowman Kevin! Picture: Abbie Jordan Snowman Kevin! Picture: Abbie Jordan

Zelda, a three-year-old Border Collie got excited in her first snow at Roman Green in Colchester off Berechurch Hall Road. Picture: Leanne Rowland Zelda, a three-year-old Border Collie got excited in her first snow at Roman Green in Colchester off Berechurch Hall Road. Picture: Leanne Rowland

A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp

A robin coping with the snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp A robin coping with the snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp

A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp

Great Spotted Woodpecker in the snow. Picture: Pamela Bidwell Great Spotted Woodpecker in the snow. Picture: Pamela Bidwell

Woodpecker grabbing a snack in the snowy weather this morning. He did look a bit wet and bedraggled. Picture: Julie Kemp Woodpecker grabbing a snack in the snowy weather this morning. He did look a bit wet and bedraggled. Picture: Julie Kemp

Female blackbird in the snow. Picture: Pamela Bidwell Female blackbird in the snow. Picture: Pamela Bidwell

A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp A few of the birds coping with this morning's snowfall. Picture: Julie Kemp

We had about two inches of snow settle in the garden this morning. It looked so pretty. Picture: Julie Kemp We had about two inches of snow settle in the garden this morning. It looked so pretty. Picture: Julie Kemp

Combs Wood. Picture: Kevin Button Combs Wood. Picture: Kevin Button

Combs Wood winter wonderland. Picture: Kevin Button Combs Wood winter wonderland. Picture: Kevin Button

After all the hype the snow has little effect in Felixstowe :( Picture: Stephen Squirrell After all the hype the snow has little effect in Felixstowe :( Picture: Stephen Squirrell

Snow arrives in Hitcham near Ipswich. Picture: Andrew Mutimer Snow arrives in Hitcham near Ipswich. Picture: Andrew Mutimer

Ruby wythe age 7 from Ipswich with her snowman. Picture: Contributed Ruby wythe age 7 from Ipswich with her snowman. Picture: Contributed

Snow Angel, Cerys, from Stowupland. Picture: Debbie King Snow Angel, Cerys, from Stowupland. Picture: Debbie King

Snow lady Made by Ashni & Ashmi. Broke Hall, Ipswich. Picture: Piremi Andrew Snow lady Made by Ashni & Ashmi. Broke Hall, Ipswich. Picture: Piremi Andrew

Perfect sledging conditions in Christchurch. Picture: Sam Dawes Perfect sledging conditions in Christchurch. Picture: Sam Dawes

Perfect sledging conditions in Christchurch. Picture: Sam Dawes Perfect sledging conditions in Christchurch. Picture: Sam Dawes

Bailey enjoying the snow in Broomhill Park. Picture: Rob Watson Bailey enjoying the snow in Broomhill Park. Picture: Rob Watson

This is my son Ryland getting ready to throw a snowball at his dad! Picture: Melissa O'Halloran This is my son Ryland getting ready to throw a snowball at his dad! Picture: Melissa O'Halloran

Framlingham mere with the castle in the distance. Picture: Andrew Hirst Framlingham mere with the castle in the distance. Picture: Andrew Hirst

Snowy scene at Framlingham Castle. Picture: Andrew Hirst Snowy scene at Framlingham Castle. Picture: Andrew Hirst

A snowy Market Hill, Framlingham. Picture: ANDREW HIRST A snowy Market Hill, Framlingham. Picture: ANDREW HIRST

Framlingham Church in the snow. Picture: Andrew Hirst Framlingham Church in the snow. Picture: Andrew Hirst

Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien having snow fun in Colchester. Picture: HELEN ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien having snow fun in Colchester. Picture: HELEN ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien haveing snow fun in Colchester. Picture: Helen Elliott Photography Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien haveing snow fun in Colchester. Picture: Helen Elliott Photography

Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien having snow fun in Colchester earlier this month. Picture: HELEN ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien having snow fun in Colchester earlier this month. Picture: HELEN ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien haveing snow fun in Colchester. Picture: Helen Elliott Photography Helen Elliott and Ben O'Brien haveing snow fun in Colchester. Picture: Helen Elliott Photography

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Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

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Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

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