BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 31 January, 2003, 10:27 GMT
'My 20-hour battle through the snow'
Lorry drivers stuck in a jam
Motorists have been stuck in lengthy jams
While motorists across Britain have been struggling in to work along icy roads, few have suffered as much as those stuck on the M11 in Cambridgeshire.

Adam Harley, who pulled on to the motorway at 1600 GMT on Thursday, tried to remain upbeat as he spoke to the BBC at the start of his 20th hour in the traffic jam.

He said: "I have moved 200 yards since 6am and I have seen two police cars in 12 hours.

Nobody really has very much in the car in the way of drink or food

"Luckily for me I filled up my car with petrol at about 8pm last night - when I pulled off for a sandwich at Stansted - but now I have nothing to eat or drink."

Mr Harley, who had been heading to Suffolk, said that he and fellow motorists were trying to remain cheerful and help each other through their ordeal.

"Somebody else came and sat in my car this morning because their battery had run out and they had run out of petrol to keep warm for a while," he said.

But he was unhappy about the authorities' response to their predicament, insisting they had done "absolutely nothing".

Snow storm

He said: "There's nothing - no news, no information - it's just quite amazing that with the weather forecast they haven't put the gritters out.

"I'm sure it wasn't just a freak snow storm that came last night and it was, by the way, only two inches of snow to cause such mayhem."

The motorists have no idea how long they could remain stranded, Mr Harley said.

"I flagged down a police car this morning, but 'there's a lot of people waiting' was his only response.

Fortunately for me I've got some petrol in the car, so I do keep turning it on to keep myself warm

"I think if nothing has happened by lunchtime I'll pull the car across and walk to wherever I can get to."

He said that people's patience was starting to wear thin as the hours ticked by.

"People have been getting out to walk and to keep themselves amused and have been talking to each other," he said.

"But nobody really has very much in the car in the way of drink or food, because you don't expect to be in the car for 16 hours."

Horror stories

But while Mr Harley was frustrated by the standstill, he said he was coping reasonably well.

"It's very cold, but fortunately for me I've got some petrol in the car, so I do keep turning it on to keep myself warm," he said.

And there was always the thought that things were even worse for other people.

"I heard on the radio earlier that there's a lady with a baby in the car and she's been stuck in it for 13 hours - so goodness knows what she's got up to," he added.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Samantha Simmonds
"Hundreds of passengers are still stranded at Heathrow and Gatwick airports"
Jonathan Smith, E. Midlands Electricity
"We've 30,000 customers without electricity"
Rebecca Rees, AA
"People have spent the whole night in their cars"

Talking PointTALKING POINT
A snow plough passes an abandoned car near Fylingdales, North Yorkshire Snow storm
Your experiences of the extreme conditions

Heavy snow swept across Britain today, with northern England badly affected
Shivering in the snow

See also:

29 Jan 03 | UK
30 Jan 03 | England
31 Jan 03 | Scotland
31 Jan 03 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes