Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Residents of Greater Manchester today woke up to picturesque views of roads, houses, cars and fields blanketed by up to 6 inches of snow. Last night’s snow falls were supposedly the heaviest since November 1996. However, this ‘winter wonderland’ has caused major disruptions to people travelling to school and work, with traffic and public transport being affected, in particular in Middleton and Oldham.

Throughout the region drivers were forced to reduce their speeds to 15 – 20mph in fear of skidding on the roads, which in addition to the traffic caused mass delays on the roads, with cars being abandoned on the traffic gridlocked A62, A635 and A627M. Snow ploughs were in put into use on the M62 eastbound out of Greater Manchester, in order to re-open a lane. Junctions 19 (Middleton/Heywood) and 20 (Rochdale) of the M62 was closed due to 2 HGVs colliding at 19, and a vehicle careering up the embankment at 20. In one incident, a car crashed into a house in Grimshaw Lane, Middleton, but thankfully no-one was injured. Consequently, many workers had to find alternative ways of travelling into work, as buses alike also struggled to cope with the poor weather conditions.

Due to teachers struggling to get into work, many schools in the area have been closed for the day or opened later in the day. Schools which have closed down today include: Royton and Crompton Secondary School, Crompton House, St. Mary’s, Buckstones Primary School, Saddleworth Prep, South Failsworth Primary, Counthill and North Chadderton.

The weather conditions also affected trains in the area, with trains breaking down and numerous services being heavily delayed or cancelled; Manchester Airport to Edinburgh, Manchester Victoria to Leeds, to name but a few. However, these disruptions look set to be cleared up this afternoon.

Is this the last of the snow? Possibly. Oldham Chronicle’s weatherman Damien Rogers said, “There may be more snow on Thursday and it is possibly going to stay cold until the weekend”. The BBC Weather pages show that for Oldham; there may be more snow today, tomorrow will be foggy, Thursday will be very wet, and Friday will have some sunny intervals. Is it me or is the weather just too unpredictable at the moment? Is this our snow for the year? Will there still be a White Christmas?

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