Heavy snow forecast to hit Fenland and East Cambridgeshire: Highways England and rail operators issue warnings

Tricky driving conditions with icy road and freezing fog is expected to hit the Fens. Photograph Sim

Tricky driving conditions with icy road and freezing fog is expected to hit the Fens. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

East Cambridgeshire and Fenland is bracing itself for heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures; it has already forced Greater Anglia to put in place a contingency plan which could see trains cancelled.

Road users are being advised to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling on Tuesday as significant levels of snow are forecast and Highways England has issued a severe weather warning.

A band of snow is expected to affect parts of the network through Tuesday morning. The snow is expected to come into the north east through the very early hours of the morning.

Areas are likely see 2 to 4 cm with some roads potentially seeing 5 to 10 cm of snow in just a few hours (most likely across South East Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire). Strong winds may lead to some drifting of snow and a severe wind chill is likely. As the snow tracks to the south west, it will lessen in intensity and become more showery in nature.

Highways England is working closely with the Met Office monitoring the latest weather conditions with snow expected to affect the road network during Tuesday.

Weather warnings are in place for heavy snow from Monday and temperatures are not expected to get above freezing for the majority of the week.

Greater Anglia has said only key train services will run if two days of heavy snow and extreme weather conditions forecast for the east of the region materialise.

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With forecaster Met Desk warning of up to 30cm of snow to fall, Network Rail will be concentrating on keeping main routes operating on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the Norwich to London Liverpool Street and Norwich to Cambridge lines.

Richard Dean, Greater Anglia train service delivery director said: “The last time such heavy snow fell in this region was over 25 years ago. In extreme conditions such as these, we work hard with Network Rail to keep key routes open, using snow ploughs, points heaters and mobilising all staff to clear snow off platforms and heat up and de-ice trains.

“Volume of traffic on some routes keeps snow from settling too deep, like on roads, but not on rural routes. We are committed to keeping our customers safe in all conditions and the last thing anyone wants is for customers to be stranded on a cold train in the middle of a blizzard..

“If the forecasts prove wrong, we will of course, do everything possible to get services up and running as soon as possible.”

A Network Rail spokesperson added: “We will be keeping a close eye on the forecast over the next few days and have plans in place should the extreme weather materialise.

“We will have extra staff working around the clock in order to keep main lines as clear as possible but while we will do everything we can to keep people moving, some lines may be closed and services will be subject to delays and cancellations, especially in the areas worst hit.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause but the safety of our passengers and staff remains our number one priority.”