Snow warning for motorists as lorry driver dies in Lincolnshire
Snow has fallen as far south as Lincolnshire in winter’s first real bite at the UK south of Hadrian’s Wall, claiming the life of a lorry driver whose truck left the main A160 road near the Humber estuary.
The accident in freezing temperatures and hail flurries came as police warned drivers across the north of England and in Scotland to take extra care because of black ice hidden by sleet and sudden falls of snow.
Cars left the road on black ice in Scotland where the M74 southbound in South Lanarkshire and the A74 in Dumfries and Galloway were both down to one lane after two incidents of lorries jack-knifing. More than 130 gritters were out overnight across Scotland using 3,000 tonnes of road salt, according to the Scottish transport minister, Keith Brown.
The cold snap is expected to continue into Tuesday, according to the Met Office, but should ease by the following day, and has not made a white Christmas any likelier for most of the UK. The Met Office’s 16-30 day forecast suggests unsettled conditions for much of the period, especially in the north of England and Scotland, but average temperatures and snow mostly limited to higher ground.
The accident at South Killingholme in north Lincolnshire involved a fully loaded Scania meat lorry which skidded off the road at around 4.14am. A spokesman for Humberside police said that road conditions at the time were “quite poor” because of ice and hailstones. The driver, who was from the north-west of England, was certified dead at the scene. He will not be named until relatives have been told.
Severe weather warnings have been extended down the central spine of England and into mid-Wales because of ice and sleet showers. Most are at the Met Office’s lowest “be aware” status but parts of the central Highlands and the middle and western parts of lowland Scotland have the higher “be prepared” level. The whole of Northern Ireland has a “be aware” warning, extending into Tuesday, when it will also apply to north-west England, the western side of Scotland and the Highlands.
Emergency 999 services were lost for a short time overnight at Lairg in Scotland because of severe weather, affecting 176 lines. Stornoway airport was closed for part of Monday morning, affecting flights to Benbecula, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
Brown spent the early morning at Traffic Scotland’s control centre and said: “We’ve already seen some wintry weather across much of Scotland and, while it is not as severe as this time last year, we cannot afford to be complacent.
“Both the Scottish government resilience room and the multi-agency response team are operational. We are all working hard to keep Scotland moving and get back to normal where disruption does occur. But it’s important the public continue to play their part too. Plan your journey, listen to police advice and check available travel updates.”
Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat, of Central Scotland police and the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland), said: “I would ask people to remember that both damp and snow-affected roads can hide the hidden danger of black ice, particularly in shaded areas. Our message is very much aimed at asking motorists to be aware of the dangers and travel with extra caution.”
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