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Six inches of snow as winter arrives early in Somerset

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 05, 2012

  • A van overturned in the snow on the A37 north of Gurney Slade yesterday morning. Photo by Len Copland / Western Gazette

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Several inches of snow yesterday fell on parts of the West Country – despite none being forecast in the region.

Up to six inches of snow was reported in areas including Bath, Frome, Midsomer Norton and the Mendips.

Buses and trains were suspended, while Wiltshire police confirmed several vehicles had become stuck in snow near Bradford-on-Avon.

Gritting teams were sent out by Bath & North East Somerset Council, who said they had been caught unaware.

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Council spokesman Kelvin Packer said two teams had been sent out to grit the “slush” roads.

He said: “Unfortunately, the snow came down immediately off the back of a band of rain and with everything being so wet, it’s just sat on the roads as slush.

“When its raining heavily we can’t go out gritting because the salt just washes straight off the road and it normally takes us about three hours to salt 260 miles of road.”

First Great Western said train routes between Swindon, Wiltshire and Gloucester had to be replaced by buses, due to flooding near Kemble.

Several bus services run by First Bristol in Bath and Wells, Somerset, were cancelled because of the snow.

A light scattering of snow was also reported in Gloucestershire, with residents in Cirencester spotting flakes falling.

Meanwhile, large parts of southern and eastern England were drenched by torrential rain yesterday.

The Met Office issued a weather warning for heavy rain, gusts of over 50mph and minor flooding.

FA Cup matches at non-league Gloucester City and Braintree were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

Julian Mayes, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: “The whole of southern England had a very wet night. Plymouth had the most rain with 21mm falling.”

More rain was expected last night, but dry, colder weather from the north will start southwards, forecasters predicted.

Meanwhile forecasters are advising people to wrap up warm if they are going to a Bonfire Night fireworks display tonight with temperatures predicted to fall to around 4-5C (39-41F) across much of the country by mid-evening.

And the odds of a white Christmas have been cut following the snowfall. Edinburgh is the 3-1 favourite to have snow on December 25.

Click here for the latest Somerset weather forecast.

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  • siarad2  |  November 05 2012, 12:56PM

    In the winter of 1962/3 we all got by without salting & gritting, just learn to drive on snow or are modern tyres so much worse than the older ones.