Snow causes travel chaos

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Motorists suffered long delays around Wilmslow and Alderley Edge this morning following the snow fall overnight.

The situation was particulary bad on and around the A34 bypass due to black ice.

As a result a stretch of the Wilmslow bypass had to be closed from about 9am for approximately an hour, from the Ford garage to the junction with Summerfields and the Colshaw Estate, to enable the road to be gritted.

Travelling from the centre of Alderley Edge just after 8am it took nearly an hour to reach the roundabout at Wilmslow High School.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Highways tweeted "All gritting routes were treated during the day, evening & overnight, with ploughing continuing today on the higher routes. The A54 & A537 remain closed to traffic although access remains to Wincle and Wildboarclough. The B5470 to Whaley Bridge is open & passable with care!."

To which one lady responded "Really? Roads around Poynton, including the A555, have apparently not been gritted and cars have been stuck on them. There's really not that much snow and we knew it was coming - it would be nice to still be able to use the main roads."

A spokesperson for Cheshire East tweeted "You can see all our gritting routes on our website. Although we grit 745 miles of Cheshire East's roads, please be aware that not every road can be treated. For gritting to work effectively vehicles need to go over it to grind & spread the salt."

Manchester Airport temporarily shut its runways this morning whilst their airfield team worked to clear the snow. Motorists travelling to the airport by car this morning were advised to allow plenty of time for their journey as the road networks surrounding the airport were very busy.

One taxi company contacted to report chaos on the roads with one of their drivers having spent two and a half hours travelling from Alderley Edge to Manchester Airport.

The latest travel update from Manchester Airport states "One of our airways has now re-opened for departures and arrivals.

"Our airfield team has been working through the night to keep the runways clear, which resulted in the day's operations starting as planned. However, as conditions worsened significantly this morning, we took the decision to temporary close our runways.

"We advise all customers to carefully plan their journey to and from the airport, as the surrounding road network is severely impacted, making it difficult to get onto the airport site. We are working closely with GMP and Highways England to monitor the situation. As we gradually increase operations, we will take this into account to maximise the number of people able to make their flights.

"We appreciate the inconvenience caused to passengers, but their safety and security is always of paramount importance."

Updated: 3pm on Thursday, 31st January

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: "The A34 in the Wilmslow area received the same level of gritting treatment as all other routes in the borough. Gritting took place the evening before, again during the night from 2am and again the following day from 2pm.

"We are in contact with Cheshire Police to establish what prompted their decision to close the road."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 31st January 2019 at 12:12 am
We had significantly worse weather in 2009 and 2010 and the A34 was a lot easier to use....why do I suspect CEC Highways is cutting back on gritting just as they were with pot hole repairs.
Jon Williams
Thursday 31st January 2019 at 10:15 am
Anyone late for work because of this should have a reduction in Council Tax for 2019/20.