Page last updated at 18:23 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Fresh snow hits parts of south

Snowboarder on Gold Hill, Shaftesbury
North Dorset was hit with more snowfalls overnight and during Friday

Fresh snowfall has hit parts of Dorset, Berkshire and north Hampshire, bringing more travel disruption.

Up to 40 vehicles became stuck in snow on the A35 on the Dorset-Devon border near Lyme Regis.

The entire length of the A339, between Alton and Basingstoke in Hampshire, was shut after snow made it "impassable".

An 18-year-old man was rescued by the Coastguard helicopter on Friday after he became lost in a snowstorm at Moonfleet, near Weymouth.

He called the coastguard after becoming so cold he was unable to walk.

The A354 in Dorset was also shut in two places - at Ridgeway between Dorchester and Weymouth and at Thorncombe between Puddletown and Blandford, but later reopened.

The Old Sherborne Road, north of Dorchester, was also shut.

Sunset over Dorchester. Pic by Mike Anstey
Mike Anstey captured the sunset from his home in Poundbury, Dorchester
Police said they had been inundated with reports of cars and lorries stuck on impassable roads across Dorset, from the west of the county to Bournemouth and Poole in the east.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: "Road conditions across Dorset are very, very treacherous so only travel if absolutely necessary."

The West Country was the worst-hit and saw up to 22in (55cm) of snow on Friday.

Drivers in Berkshire were warned about dangerous conditions on the M4 and A34.

The Met Office said at least a couple of inches of more snow was expected in some areas.

The area along the M4 corridor has seen up eight inches (20cm) of snow and leading to hazardous driving conditions between junction 12 at Reading and junction 20 at Bristol.

Gritter on the M3 in Hampshire on Friday morning
Gritters were sent to the M3 near Basingstoke on Friday morning
There were also delays and bad conditions on the A34 northbound near Newbury.

Southampton, the Isle of Wight and coastal regions in Hampshire were expected to remain snow free, but the Met Office said some areas could be affected later on Friday evening.

Police said about 40 vehicles had become stuck in snow on the A35 at Raymond's Hill, some since the early hours.

A member of the public in a tractor pulled some vehicles free until snow ploughs and gritters arrived. The road reopened at 1100 GMT.

The A350 at Shaftesbury was closed southbound, between the A30 Christy's Lane junction and the B3082 Milldown Road during rush hour, but has since reopened.

One lane of the southbound M3 at Basingstoke was shut during the morning rush hour, causing delays.

First Great Western is running a reduced service between Henley-on-Thames and Twyford, and is operating a Saturday timetable between Maidenhead, Bourne End and Marlow.

Grit supplies

In west Berkshire, residents had been warned there was only enough salt to send out gritting lorries one more time on major roads on Friday.

But the council later received additional supplies from other authorities and said it now had enough for a grit run on Saturday and one on Sunday on its major roads.

Wokingham Borough Council also said it was only treating major roads.

Dorset County Council has been bringing in an extra 1,200 tonnes of salt from Devon and Cornwall and said it would have enough to treat "priority routes into the end of next week".

Many schools across the south closed again on Friday, including about 120 in Berkshire.

About 20 schools are closed in Hampshire, mostly in the north of the county, and about 15 in north and west Dorset.

Meanwhile Newbury Racecourse said it had called off Saturday's racing because of the snow.

The Wokingham Half Marathon has also been cancelled on Sunday, due to the lack of road grit.

Newbury College said it would close on Saturday and its planned Chinese New Year celebrations had been postponed.

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