Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 8°C

Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

Road crews struggle to keep rural roads open across Suffolk and Essex

PUBLISHED: 16:40 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:40 01 March 2018

Snow fences were used in the 1990s to keep the A14 and A140 clear during blizzards. Picture: ARCHANT

Snow fences were used in the 1990s to keep the A14 and A140 clear during blizzards. Picture: ARCHANT

Road crews from Suffolk and Essex struggled to keep major roads open in rural parts of the counties on Thursday as a combination of dry snow and gusty winds caused major problems.

Snow is being blown back on to roads after they have been treated.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Snow is being blown back on to roads after they have been treated. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Some major roads were impassable for much of the day with problems caused by powdery snow or black ice caused serious problems for motorists.

Drivers of gritting lorries were doing the longest possible shifts – 12 hours – in a bid to keep their vehicles on the road. With shift changes the lorries were only in the depots as long as it took to refill them and ensure they had enough fuel.

The A140 had problems along much of its length in Suffolk and Norfolk. At the start of the road at Beacon Hill, just after the junction with the A14, lorries were unable to get to the top – forcing the closure of the road to all traffic.

There were more problems at Stonham near the Magpie pub, at Brockford and across the county border at Scole.

As well as black ice, powdery snow also caused a problem on many rural routes – especially on the Shotley peninsula.

A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said: “We haven’t seen anything like this for years. At Shotley we were trying to clear a road and everytime the snowplough moved the snow off the surface the wind blew it back.

“We tried about 20 runs before we had to give it up. There comes a time when you just have to say to people: ‘I’m sorry but it’s best to stay indoors’.”

In the 1990s snow fences were installed along the A14 at Trimley and the A140 at Stonham during the winter to prevent snow blowing on to the road – but they haven’t been seen for about 15 years.

A spokesman for the county council said this was the first winter since they stopped being used that they might have had an effect. But that was doubtful because the powdery nature of the snow meant it could well have blown straight through the fence.

In Essex the A120, which is operated by Highways England, was blocked for much of the morning at Wix near Harwich after a number of vehicles were abandoned after being involved in minor accidents.

Suffolk Highways managers are expecting their vehicles to be out around the clock until at least the weekend in a bid to keep as many roads open as possible.

The parents of a 15-year-old missing girl from Ipswich have made an emotional appeal for her to come home.

Suffolk police have issued a renewed appeal for witnesses after man in his 20s was stabbed in Ipswich.

A 36-year-old man from Ipswich has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years after being convicted of an attempted rape and three sexual assaults.

Youngsters across Ipswich are set to be given free iCards for the summer holidays which will allow them to enjoy activities across the whole six week break.

Drama, art and maths lessons were on the timetable when our photographer visited Felixstowe’s Grange Community Primary School in 1990.

A man has avoided going straight to jail for selling counterfeit goods on Facebook.

A private company has been awarded a five-year contract to run the NHS 111 helpline and out of hours services in Suffolk and north east Essex.

Suffolk and north Essex will bask in sunshine next week and temperatures could reach a scorching 30C (86F) - making the region as hot as Spain.

A Suffolk seaside town has defied national trends to see property prices soar – retaining its position among the top three priciest coastal locations.

A Suffolk care farm and animal shelter is just a few days from being left homeless after failing to find a new site.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24