Temperatures hit -11°C in Yorkshire Dales as road closure causes problems in Swaledale

Ice on the road near Marske. Photo: Adele Charlton.

Temperatures plummeted to -11°C overnight with forecasters warning freezing condition will continue.

Last night’s coldest temperature of -11.1°C was recorded at Ravenseat in Swaledale, with -10.3°C noted down the road in Keld.

The icy conditions have caused problems in Swaledale where the Reeth to Richmond is currently closed for repairs at Gatehouse Bridge.

With the main road closed, motorists have been using the back road via Marske to get to and from Richmond.

This road is not routinely gritted and at least one accident occurred on the route over the weekend.

One local resident said the county councillor has shown “a lack of joined up thinking” by failing to grit the road when the main road was shut.

Upper Dales county councillor Yvonne Peacock said she had now spoken to the county council’s highways department asking to treat the alternative road.

“This route is neither a priority one or priority two route meaning there needs to be 72 hours of continuous low temperatures before it will be considered for gritting.

“I have asked for a special dispensation for the road to be gritted because of the closure of the B6279 and the fact that people are using this as an alternative route.”

The freezing temperatures are set to continue until Sunday when sleet and snow is then forecast.



  1. What has happened to the County Council Highways Department bosses today.

    Years ago they didn’t have all the modern 4×4 gritters and modern technology.

    They used to just let the drivers get out there with there old 2 wheel drive Bedford TK wagons and grit all the road that needed gritting, most of them before many people got out of bed.

    We didn’t have to what 72 HOURS for any roads to be gritted in those days. SOMETHING NEEDS SORTING HERE.

  2. If a Priority 1 or Priority 2 road is subject to planned closure, the priority should immediately switch to the proposed alternative route, which should immediately attract the appropriate gritting policy for that priority and be clearly communicated.

    This doesn’t require special dispensation (or a 72 hour wait), just some grown-ups able to think things through.

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