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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Cumbria snow: School closure list

Schools and workplaces were shut today as heavy snowfall hit the county’s roads again overnight.

Related: Cumbria wakes up to snow chaos

Sellafield workers were this morning told not to travel to work, more than 30 Cumbrian schools were closed and a rescue team was called out to help a group of trapped walkers.

More snow is predicted to fall later this afternoon and tonight.

Over the weekend, United Utilities took more than 800 calls about frozen pipes hitting homes across the region.

Police say that although all the county’s roads remain open, motorists are urged to take care, drive to the conditions and allow extra time for journeys.

Main roads have been gritted but conditions are still bad on minor and estate roads. Roads listed as third priority are being treated due to the extended nature of the cold snap.

Replenishment of the county's 10,000 grit bins and salt heaps is being carried out.

The county has about 15,500 tonnes of grit in stock and is receiving deliveries of 1,400 tonnes a week to replenish stocks.

One full county-wide treatment of all Cumbria's priority one and two routes typically uses around 300 tonnes of grit and Cumbria can complete three full treatments every 24 hours.

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team was called out by police this morning to help 19 people stranded by snow and ice at Gillerthwaite youth hostel in Ennerdale.

Three rescue vehicles took the group to Whitehaven to catch trains to Carlisle and then on to Newcastle.

The group had to leave their cars and bags at the hostel. They will be collected when the snows have melted.

Sellafield bosses took the decision to operate at minimum safety levels in the early hours of the morning.

A company statement said: “Following the recent deterioration in the weather conditions and a desire not to cause any unnecessary congestion on the roads local to the Sellafield site, the decision has been taken to remain at minimum safety manning levels. All day employees are asked to remain at home until advised to travel.”

A statement released at about 11am said that as the weather had settled and gritting had been completed, the site was being returned to fully operational.

All afternoon shifts should report to work as normal this afternoon, if safe to do so.

All personnel including contractors should attend as normal tomorrow morning - again if safe to do so.

The firm says staff should only travel between sites if it is absolutely necessary; phone or video links should be used where possible.

There has been some disruption to the library service.

Thornhill and Frizington libraries are closed today and Hensingham, Seascale and Whitehaven will close at 5pm instead of their scheduled times.

The mobile library service covering west Cumbria is not operating.

Wintry conditions initially hit the county of Friday night, with the majority of Cumbrians waking up to several inches of snow on Saturday morning.

Further snow continued to fall over the weekend, with reports of cars abandoned in parts of Cumbria – including the Red Lonning area of Whitehaven.

Many schools, particularly those in the west of the county, were forced to close this morning. They included St Benedicts School in Whitehaven, where year 11 pupils had been due to sit mock exams.

Caldew secondary and St Michael’s primary in Dalston are closed, as are Samuel King’s in Alston and Alston Primary School. Kirkbampton School near Carlisle was not hit by snow but closed because of burst pipes.

Buses carrying pupils from Talkin, Farlam, Armathwaite and Ainstable to William Howard School, Brampton, were cancelled, while children travelling from Dearham to Netherhall in Maryport were also hit.

Many other school bus routes across the county were affected, particularly in rural areas.

Some train services through the county have also been experiencing weather related delays, while all flights from Newcastle airport have been grounded by the snow.

United Utilities, which supplies water to seven million people in the north west, stressed that the problem is with customers’ own water pipes, not with the main supply network.

They advised those affected to use hot water bottles and hairdryers to thaw the pipes – but never to use naked flames.

Despite the widespread disruption, many families took the opportunity to get out and enjoy the snow over the weekend. Children across Cumbria were dusting off their sledges and taking to the hills, with favourite spots including Fellside, near Caldbeck.

The Met Office is predicting that temperatures will remain below zero, with further snowfall in parts of Cumbria tonight and later in the week.


The following schools in the Whitehaven area are closed due to the snow and ice:

St Mary's, Kells


Hospital and home tuition service

Ennerdale and Kinniside primary

Cleator Moor nursery

West Lakes Academy, Egremont

Hensingham primary

Lamplugh C of E

Bransty primary

Monkwray junior

St Patricks, Cleator Moor

Frizington primary

Valley primary

St Benedict's - also closed to students taking Year 11 mock exams

Moor Row

Kells infant

St Beghs

Orgill Primary School

St Bees

Moresby Primary

St Gregory and St Patrick

Jericho primary

Bookwell primary

St Begas, Eskdale

Mayfield Special school

Whitehaven School

Other schools closed are:

Dean primary

Hospital and home tuition service, Barrow

Hospital and home tuition service, Kendal

Kirkbampton (burst pipes)

Blennerhasset primary

Allendale Middle School

Lanercost C of E primary

Alston primary

Samuel King, Alston

St Michaels, Dalston

Crosthwaite Primary school

Caldew School, Dalston

Dallam School, Milnthorpe

Dowdales, Dalton in Furness

Crosscrake, near Kendal

School transport latest:

  • 3D travel are not running coaches between St Bees and West Lakes Academy
  • Minibus services to Welton school have been cancelled
  • Thomason Travel, Wigton, will only pick up pupils on the main roads for Nelson Thomlinson school, Wigton
  • William Howard School, Brampton, is open - Stacey's Coaches are not going to Talkin, Farlam, Armathwaite, Ainstable.
  • Mitchells Minibus and Telfords Coaches are not running.
  • Brownriggs coaches are not running to West Lakes Academy Egremont
  • Mitchells coaches will not be running to Hallbankgate School
  • Ellenvale Coaches for Netherhall School are only running a main road service. No Dearham pickup.

Members of the public should contact Highways Agency for trunk roads or Highways Hotline for any gritting queries or requirements.

The Highways Hotline is 0845 609 6609.

Have your say

All along the harbourside and lots and up to Strand Street it is like an ice-rink. No exageration.

Posted by Verity Armstrong on 7 December 2010 at 15:08

The council wants to grit pavements in whitehaven town center and Hensingham,Richmond areas,or better still where are the yellow containers with grit in? Be quicker to do it ourselves !At least we would all get to work a bit easier.

Posted by Allison gibson on 7 December 2010 at 13:57

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