Drivers urged to avoid A66 this weekend due to snow

Drivers have been urged to avoid the A66 trans-Pennine route this weekend as forecasters predict more heavy snow.

Highways England has issued an amber ‘be prepared’ alert for the region which will come into force at 7pm tonight and run until 5am on Saturday morning, with up to 10cm of snow expected on higher ground.

With snow forecast throughout the weekend, officials say gritting teams will be working around the clock to treat roads and keep traffic moving on motorways and major A roads.

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Drivers are being advised to avoid trans-Pennine roads, including the A66 and M62.

The Met Office has also issued warnings for snow and ice that cover Richmondshire until Sunday night.

The sleet and snow is forecast to begin on Friday evening, with showers continuing throughout the weekend.

Temperatures could fall to -3C tonight and -4C on Saturday night.

Highways England’s Head of Road Safety, Richard Leonard, said: “Our gritter drivers will be out treating our roads around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast.

“Make sure you keep your distance and reduce your speed if you need to travel because, even in conditions that seem normal and when the snow is not settling, it can be slippery if ice patches have formed, or where fresh salt has not been worked into the carriageway

“Drivers should plan their journeys, monitor weather reports and pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if they really need to travel.”

Nicola Maxey from the Met Office said: “It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest Met Office forecast and warnings for your area to ensure you’re up to date with the latest situation.

“You can do this by checking the Met Office website for the daily forecast or our warnings page, or you could download our weather app which will ensure you can keep up to date while you are out and about.  With the latest weather information for your area, you will be able to prepare for what is in store and plan your activities accordingly.”