Page last updated at 09:55 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Wintry weather causes disruption

Cars in snow
The snow caused problems on the region's roads

Heavy snow caused widespread disruption across the north east of England, with emergency teams responding to a range of incidents over the weekend.

In Blackhill, County Durham, mountain rescue teams had to help passengers stranded on a bus.

Snow also hindered ambulance response teams across the region, with some staff unable to travel to work.

With more snow and freezing weather forecast for the next three days drivers have been advised to take care.

The areas worst-affected by the weekend's weather were Northumberland, County Durham and East Cleveland.

Several roads were closed or partially blocked for a time due to the severity of snow and ice and accidents caused by the weather.

These included the A194, A1, A190, A167 and the A697.

At one point a lorry jack-knifed on the A19, spilling 50 gallons of diesel.

Most major roads are now passable, but police have warned rural routes should be used with care.

A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service said the adverse weather conditions had put "immense pressure" on the service and urged people to only call 999 if it was an emergency.

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