Airport closes and motorists face misery as further snow falls in county
THE snow caused traffic chaos across the region last night and East Midlands Airport suspended all its flights.
The airport closed at 2.40pm yesterday afternoon, meaning no flights were landing or taking off from the Castle Donington airport, leaving hundreds of people stranded.
An airport spokesperson said: "We have taken the action to suspend all flights because of the severe weather.
"The snow is falling faster than we can clear it, meaning the runways are constantly covered in, making it unsafe."
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The snow, which started falling at noon, affected all major roads out of Derby during the rush hour, with commuters reporting journey times doubling.
Slippery conditions and poor visibility meant that motorists were driving slowly. Long delays were reported along the A50, A38, A53 and A6.
There were no serious accidents reported, though there were three minor bumps on the A50 Derby-bound near Sudbury.
Police in Derby were called to Marina Drive in Allenton at 3pm following reports of an adult riding a mini quad bike in Marina Drive, Allenton, with a sledge tethered to the back of it and youths taking turns to ride on the sledge.
A police spokesman said: "Towing a sledge with a quad bike might seem like a fun thing to do but could be highly dangerous."
Derbyshire County Council were gritting the main routes from lunchtime yesterday, giving commuters the best chance of getting home safely. Last night more gritting was in progress.
Meanwhile, snow wardens in Oakwood were treating the roads around the suburb after receiving a bumper delivery of grit to see them through the winter.
The Oakwood Winter Welfare scheme received 800 bags for residents of the suburb to spread on their roads.
The scheme is funded by the local neighbourhood board and provides grit to people who live in areas that are not serviced by council gritting routes and do not have a grit bin.
Councillor Mick Barker said: "It allows people to not only look after their local area but to help other people on their road by spreading grit."
Public transport in the area escaped disruption, with bus and train services largely unaffected.
East Midlands Trains had no cancellations or delays on any of its services throughout the day.
Northern Rail has advised passengers to plan well ahead for their journeys this weekend.
Bus company Arriva said there were concerns about its service to Ashbourne but its 109 service was running into the evening.
The majority of Trent Barton buses were running but some routes were altered.
The 6.1 was running from Derby to Matlock, but not serving Wirksworth or Cromford, the sixes service was not serving the Belper Estates or Ripley and the se7ens was only running between Derby and Little Eaton.
Scores of schools also shut in the north of the county, including Buxton Junior School, Cromford CE Primary and Alfreton Nursery School.
Pupils at schools in South Derbyshire also enjoyed time off, including Church Gresley Infant and Nursery and Walton-on-Trent Primary and Nursery School.
In Hulland Ward, near Ashbourne, about eight centimetres of snow had fallen by midday yesterday.
Landlady of the Black Horse Inn Muriel Edwin said: "The snow is settling on a lot of the road. I think a lot of people have stayed off work because of the snow so we're expecting quite a few people in the pub."
Snow predictions also led to panic-buying, with some shops in Derbyshire running out of bread.
Reports emerged throughout the morning of people buying up to 20 loaves of bread at a time from supermarkets.
Sky News reporter Liz Lane posted a photo on Twitter on Thursday night showing a Sainsbury's store in Derbyshire with no bread on its shelves, although it was unclear which branch it was.
Yesterday morning, Sainsbury's in Westfield had run out of its basic range of white bread and white rolls by about 10.30am. But other major supermarkets in the city had adequate stock levels of bread and milk.
The Met Office has forecast light snow for today which should only add one or two cm to the snow already on the ground.
Travel updates will be available throughout the weekend on www.thisis derbyshire.co.uk as well as updates on whether the Derby County and Nottingham Forest match goes ahead.
Derbyshire police will also provide updates on its twitter feed at @DerbysPolice