Ice causes A1 chaos

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ICY road conditions led to a flurry of accidents on the A1 between Alnwick and Morpeth this week.

On Monday, January 2, emergency services were called to multiple incidents as chaos reigned between 6am and 10am.

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning''051 cars skidded off at cawledge park

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning''051 cars skidded off at cawledge park

The police reported nine separate incidents involving 12 vehicles in the four-hour stretch with two leading to the closure of the road.

Fortunately nobody was seriously injured although five people were taken to Wansbeck General Hospital as a precaution.

The A1 was closed in both directions for around an hour following an accident involving a Rover and a Fiesta near Burgham at 7.25am. The female driver of the Fiesta was taken to hospital to be checked over.

Later on, just after 10am, a three-car collision led to the road being closed near Shilbottle to allow for the recovery of a Toyota which ended up down the embankment. Four passengers were taken to Wansbeck as a precaution.

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning'' A1 shut at Cawledge park

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning'' A1 shut at Cawledge park

Two incidents took place on the Felton bypass, both involving single vehicles leaving the road at around 8.30am.

There was a further accident near Burgham at around 8.30am when a Jeep 4x4 left the road and went into a hedge.

And cars also left the road during the morning on the Morpeth bypass at Northgate, Newton on the Moor and two at Deanmoor near Shilbottle.

Coun Gordon Castle, ward member for Alnwick, contacted the Highways Agency, who is responsible for the A1, after a number of people raised concerns about the state of the road on Monday morning.

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning'' firefighters warn drivers about the dangerous conditions

The ice caught everyone out again..approximately 18 accidents between Morpeth and Alnwick this morning'' firefighters warn drivers about the dangerous conditions

“The Highways Agency maintains that the A1 received appropriate precautionary gritting on the previous evening and that morning,” he said.

“I would add that bridges in particular are prone to ice more readily than other road surfaces because of the super cooling effect of the airflow underneath, and the A1 does have a river bridge shortly after the single carriageway section begins after the southern section of the Felton bypass.

“This and the section over Cawledge Park are particularly prone to icing and drivers need to take extreme care. Ultimately, it is down to drivers to take account of the conditions, especially in the early morning.”

Coun Castle added that as chairman of the county council’s Economic Prosperity and Strategic Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, he had invited the Highways Agency to attend a future committee meeting to discuss matters such as this and the safety of road junctions.