Action call after 100 vehicles stranded

Date published: 07 March 2016

A mountain-rescue chief is calling for an urgent meeting with council bosses after chaos on a snow-bound Pennine road.

More than a hundred vehicles were stranded on the A640 Nont Sarah’s road, which crosses the Yorkshire border from Outlane to Denshaw.

A dozen members of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team spent more than four hours helping to move vehicles, including giant articulated lorries, that had jack-knifed across the narrow road.

Problems started after an accident on the M62 led to traffic being diverted onto the A640 at Outlane.

In a bid to reduce future snarl ups, OMRT leader Mick Neild is urging Kirklees and Oldham councils to liaise over coordinating closure of the notorious road during snow.

He said:” We need common sense to prevail to prevent these problems reoccurring. The trail of stranded lorries and cars stretched for nearly two kilometres on the A640 towards Denshaw. Our efforts were hampered by drifting snow and several articulated lorries had come off the road and were stuck.

“We used a specially-adapted Landrover to winch one huge lorry out of a roadside ditch.

“The the two councils need to liaise more over road closures. The snow gate at Denshaw was closed to traffic and the warning lights flashing. But that didn’t stop drivers completely ignoring it and driving on to the A640. But the bulk of stranded vehicles were stuck coming into Saddleworth. They were stacked up like a pack of cards.

“If Kirklees had discussed the likelihood of problems with officers in Oldham ahead of the snow’s arrival and any other unforeseen circumstances, action could have been taken to close the road from the Yorkshire side.”