The tail of the Beast from the East is still wagging, with plenty of snow on roads and rail line set to disrupt your travel plans. It’s SATURDAY, MARCH 3, day five of the icy blast from Siberia.
8.45pm: Neil Bloomer has been in touch, he and his wife are an example of people living in rural hamlets that have contacted the county council to alert the authority about what is happening in their area. He said: “Two different local farmers using tractors with attached buckets spent this afternoon clearing a single track on the road (B1341) from Bamburgh to Glororum, one from each end. This is well-appreciated and it gives the communities around Glororum a walking option, although it would need a snow-blower to make the road usable for normal vehicles. The removed snow is piled 5ft high on either side of the track and will take an eternity to melt. Bamburgh itself is functioning and connected to Seahouses, and the A1 via the B1342 through Waren Mill. The other three roads out of Glororum are still blocked with high snowdrifts.”
6.45pm: As night falls, some advice has been issued by Northumbria Police: ‘Roads may appear to be clearing, however we urge drivers to travel with care. Take a blanket, food and water in case of becoming stranded and only travel if essential. Don’t put others or yourselves in unnecessary danger. Roads are deceptively icy and remain a danger.’
5.15pm: We have been contacted by Craig Mason, who said the following: “Myself and my family would like to say a massive thank you to all the guys from Northumberland County Council and the contractors and the police for the outstanding efforts of getting the A1 from Berwick to Alnwick open, making it possible for me to get to say my final goodbye to my dad after travelling from Fife and also to the police for getting us past the accident at Newton-on-the-Moor turn off – hope the people involved are all ok.”
4pm: Now that the high tide period has started, it runs to 5.30pm, a reminder that a flood alert is in operation for the Northumberland coast. Spring tides and strong onshore winds are forecast to cause wave overtopping and spray along the coast, and people are advised to stay away from risk areas and take care next to the coast. Impacts could particularly be seen at Beadnell Harbour Road North, North Blyth Sand Dunes and Newbiggin Bay North Promenade.
3.30pm: Trains have been restored between Newcastle and Edinburgh and both Virgin Trains East Coast and CrossCountry are running services over the next few hours. Some will stop at Dunbar, Berwick, Alnmouth and Morpeth and others will just stop at Alnmouth and Berwick. Go to www.nationalrail.co.uk for details about specific services.
2.30pm: Latest news on snow clearance from Northumberland’s roads and town-centre pavements by the county council - details here.
2.20pm: The A68, which was closed from Styford to Carter Bar, and the A696 Ponteland Road, which was closed in both directions between Eland Edge and A68, are now open, however, areas are narrow so police are advising travel with care. In the north of the county, Northumberland County Council has more than 50 extra vehicles and machines working on the B roads and a team is working to clear the road from Beal to Holy Island. In the west, the B6318 Military Road is now passable with care, but the A68 to A69 (Stagshaw) section remains closed.
1.07pm: In case you missed it earlier, the Environment Agency issued a new flood alert for the Northumberland coast this afternoon as the high spring tide combines with strong easterly winds of the Beast From The East. Keep safe. Read more here
1pm: Update from Northumberland County Council about Household Waste Recovery Centres (HWRCs) this afternoon. Bebside, Berwick, Morpeth, North Seaton, Hexham, Alnwick, Prudhoe and Wooler are open. Allendale, North Sunderland and Kirkley West Thorn remain closed. Haltwhistle HWRC will open at 2pm.
11.30am: The road from Berwick to Allerdean/Etal is blocked and even rescue vehicles have been getting stuck. Tractors were getting through yesterday (Friday), but the road is now completely impassable.
11.15am: The A69, which links the A1 at Newcastle to the M6 in the west, via Hexham, is open, but weather conditions are still quite hazardous. Advice is to allow plenty of time and make sure you are well prepared, is the advice from the Highways Agency.
10.48am: The Holy Island Coastguard team have said the causeway to the island and the road down to it from Beal remain blocked with snow. They say: “The snow is as high as the hedges in some places. If you have any problems or require assistance, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
10.30am: A reminder that Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) and CrossCountry are not running any trains between Newcastle and Edinburgh today. For travel updates in relation to the VTEC services that are running today, click here
9.25am: Although the A1 is now open between Alnwick and Berwick, Northumbria Police has tweeted that the A697 southbound between the Rothbury turn off and Morpeth is down to one lane due to snow drifts.
The tweet continues: ‘We are working on getting the area cleared and back to two lanes, but expect delays. Please drive with care and only if essential.’
8.27am: The A1 is now open!! Message from Highways England: ‘#Northumberland Our crews have worked hard to clear the #A1 in both directions, between the junctions of the #A1068 near #Alnwick and the #Scottish border following severe weather. The road is now fully open. Have a safe onward journey.’ Read more here
8.25am: But wait! The Newbiggin Parkrun is ON!
8.20am: The sporting calendar will be decimated this weekend. But if your game is on, let us know. Tweet us at @alnwickgazette. Despite their best efforts to get their match against Northern on, Alnwick Rugby Club have called it a day, tweeting: ‘Unfortunately due to advice from Highways and safety concerns for those travelling from @NorthernFC the game has been postponed. A massive thank you to everyone who had been involved in rallying people up for the pitch clear tomorrow and everyone who was planning on coming down!’
7am: Highways England confirmed the A1 is still shut.
6am: The A1 is still closed between Alnwick and Berwick. Highways England says work has continued throughout the night to clear the road but cannot say when it might reopen, the weather remains quite severe. Its teams are still using the impressive Zaugg Rolba snow blower to clear the way and they are working as quickly and safely as possible to re-open the carriageway. High winds are causing continuing drifts, delaying the process.
2am: The Environment Agency has issued a new flood alert for the Northumberland coast today (Saturday) as the high spring tide combines with strong easterly winds of the Beast From The East. Read more here
1am: There is still a yellow ‘be aware’ weather warning for snow in place until midnight tonight, It is not as severe as the amber warning of the previous couple of days and indicates Northumberland is over the worst, but the county is not out of the woods yet. Full story here
12.46am: Highways England tweeted: #Northumberland The #A1 remains closed in both directions, between the junctions of the #A1068 near #Alnwick and the #Scottish border. We’ll re-open the road, just as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Midnight: The A1 remains shut between Alnwick and Morpeth, with work ongoing to clear a safe way through the considerable snowdrifts.