Blizzards leave motorists stranded

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The Independent Online

Motorists were stranded today after worse-than-expected snowfalls caused blizzard-like conditions in parts of England.

Up to 8cm of snow landed overnight near Okehampton, Devon, forcing a number of drivers on the A30 to wait as long as an hour in their cars while roads were cleared.

Last month dozens of drivers had be rescued from the same part of the country after severe snowstorms lashed the region.

Other parts of Somerset - especially around Taunton - and West Dorset also saw some sizeable flurries overnight making for difficult driving conditions.

Nikki Berry, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said forecasters had not been expecting as much snow.

"The worst hit was Devon and Somerset, and it is possible we had up to 8cm in some parts.

"That was more than we expected. Some drivers had to wait for around an hour while the road was cleared."

The Met Office is warning motorists in the west country and parts of southern England to be wary about heavy snow and icy roads. Snow was reported on the A30 and M5.

Icy road warnings also apply to much of Scotland, which saw widespread freezing temperatures overnight.

Forecasters expect the snow to clear to the south through the day, but there may be some more showers in the Highlands of Scotland.

Ms Berry added: "There will be a few wintry showers in eastern England."

Yesterday the latest bout of wintry weather affected mainly Northern Britain.

Around 5cm of snow was recorded in Dalmally, Argyll and Bute, with an estimated 10cm-12cm thought to have fallen in higher areas.

Traffic Scotland issued warnings on routes in Strathclyde, Grampian, the Highlands and Tayside.