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Dereham area hit by snowy weather

PUBLISHED: 16:40 23 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:49 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

Motorists continue to face treacherous driving conditions across Norfolk today - although the worst of the bad weather is over.

Police said they were "inundated" with reports of crashes in the county yesterday and today as up to four inches of snow fell on to frozen roads during coldest snap of the winter so far.

Motorists continue to face treacherous driving conditions across Norfolk today - although the worst of the bad weather is over.

Police said they were “inundated” with reports of crashes in the county yesterday and today as up to four inches of snow fell on to frozen roads during coldest snap of the winter so far.

Brisk winds also added to problems for drivers.

Almost 50 collisions were reported between 7am and 2pm today.

A team of linesmen from EDF Energy Networks has been working to restore power supplies to 40 customers in the Barnham Broom area after low voltage overhead power lines were brought down by branches under the weight of snow at 11.30pm last night.

In Lyng, a large tree brought down overhead power lines at 10.15pm last night. Engineers managed to restore power supplies to most of the 700 customers affected by 1.30am this morning. But they are still working in the area to restore power to the last 62 customers affected by this fault.

A spokesman said: “We do understand how much inconvenience any interruption to power can cause and staff are safely working to finalise repairs as quickly as possible.”

More heavy snow fell across Norfolk this morning but by lunchtime it had cleared away.

Dry and sunny conditions moved in and temperatures should stay above freezing tonight.

No further snow is are expected over the next few days - but there could be more wintry conditions next weekend.

Phil Garner from Weatherquest, said they had not expected such a heavy snowfall or for it to last as long into the morning as it had.

He said predictions were that it would be cold on Monday and Tuesday, and milder on Wednesday and Thursday. He did warn however the sleet and the snow could make a return next weekend as temperatures were due to fall again.

The A47 at Honingham - between Dereham and Norwich - was badly affected by a three-vehicle collision yesterday afternoon at about 3pm.

Three people were trapped and had to be released by firefighters and then taken to hospital for treatment.

The delays were made worse due to the on-going works on the stretch of road to build a new roundabout at the Mattishall Road turn-off.

Motorists had already been warned to expect severe hold-ups as traffic was reduced to one lane over the weekend but the collision and several broken cars down along the section of A47 made things much worse.

It is unclear how severely the snow has delayed the work and whether the traffic lights will still be in place for the Monday morning rush hour.

There were reports of people taking more than two hours to get between Dereham and Norwich yesterday.

Three fire crews were also called to the Thickthorn roundabout at the junction of the A11 and the A47 Norwich Southern Bypass at about 1am today.

Today police have been dealing with crashes on the A47 at Dereham near the B1110 turn-off due to an overturned car, on the A1075 just outside Watton on the Thetford road after a car hit a tree, on the northbound A11 at Thetford, on the A1101 at Wisbech at Elm High Road and on the B1332 at the Topcroft turning.

The A140 Norwich-Ipswich road was closed at Dunston today in both directions due to ice after a petrol tanker was unable to make it up the hill.

An articulated lorry slid across the road at Coltishall causing delays and in Wroxham cars reported having troubles trying to clear the step hump bridge across the Broads.

There were reports of gridlock in several parts of Norwich, including around the Barrack Street area close to the Puppet Theatre roundabout and also the Anglia Square flyover.

Drivers struggled to keep traction as they travelled up Cattle Market Street and Golden Ball Street.

First Eastern Counties suspended bus services for a while until conditions improved.

The heavy snow fall did not seem to deter shoppers with many braving the weather long before it brightened up at lunchtime to get in some Christmas shopping.

By lunchtime today gritting teams had made eight runs across the county over the weekend - each one covering 1900 miles.

The Dereham area was particularly badly affected and there was a spate of minor collisions with cars slipping off roads.

Sgt Lance Ogbourne, of Dereham Police, said: “We were inundated with road crashes and people getting stuck.”

Firefighters freed a woman from her car after it crashed when it left the road in Little London, near North Walsham, during wintry conditions at about 7.45am yesterday morning.

Firefighters used hydraulic cutting gear to free a driver trapped in his overturned four-wheel drive vehicle in a ditch beside the A143 at Haddiscoe, near Yarmouth.

The crew of a passing gritter lorry raised the alarm after seeing headlights in the ditch shortly after 3am on Saturday.

Two fire crews from Yarmouth carried out the rescue. The driver was taken by ambulance to the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, but it is not thought he was seriously injured.

The snow has given a treat for children who have been able to get out to enjoy making snowmen and get on their sledges.

Police had numerous calls from people complaining about children throwing snowballs, but none of the incidents were serious.

Poor weather did not stop the setting up a towering Christmas tree in the grounds of Cromer Parish Church in advance of the town's festive celebrations.

Motorists were urged to take extra care and give themselves more time for journeys.

A blanket of snow up to four inches deep has fallen across large parts of the UK and temperatures have dropped to as low as -4C.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings stretching from northern Scotland to south-east England and advised people to be prepared for heavy snow and icy roads.

The AA advised motorists to limit their speed to the conditions and to be aware

of the greater stopping distances required in ice and snow.

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