PLUNGING temperatures and heavy snow transformed the Wolds countryside into a winter wonderland but turned some footpaths and minor roads into a nightmare.
East Riding Council had its gritters working overnight after the snow hit on Saturday and by Monday morning all the main routes in Pocklington, Market Weighton and across the East Riding had been treated.
Work then began on the secondary road network, with a further 280 miles of road being gritted, along with some spot ploughing, particularly in the Wolds.
Throughout the week, council street sweeping and grounds maintenance staff cleared snow and ice from pedestrian areas, while Pocklington residents benefited from the town council’s snow clearing machine for the first time.
John Skidmore, head of streetscene services at East Riding Council, said: “Conditions in some villages and on minor roads will be extremely difficult with compact snow and we will continue to work with town and parish councils on the local deployment of resources delivered through the special grant funding scheme put in place by the council.”
Bin collections continued as normal and, at the time of going to press, no schools were forced to close, though there were complaints that the entrances to Market Weighton School and Woldgate College had not been cleared or gritted.
Alan Baldrey, owner of coach company Baldrey’s of Holme-on-Spalding Moor, said he struggled to get into both schools with coach-loads of children.
He questioned why neither the schools’ staff nor council gritters had cleared the grounds, given that they had from Saturday afternoon to do it.
“They never clear it, they never bother and I am getting fed up with it,” said Mr Baldrey.
“It isn’t safe to turn round, especially at Market Weighton School, it should have been done but they don’t care about us.
“There was a queue of coaches and traffic backed up out of Pocklington because cars couldn’t get a grip on the road. It was one hell of a job to get out and, if it hadn’t been for someone who got out to direct the traffic, it would have been even worse.”
While there is no snow forecast for the next few days, temperatures are expected to remain below freezing, leaving icy patches along with freezing fog.
In some spots, the temperature in the rural Pocklington areas plummeted to minus eight degrees and similar lows are expected tomorrow.