Travel disruption as snow falls across Merseyside
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Merseyrail activated its cold weather plan as snow hit Liverpool on Tuesday morning and the city braced for three days of yellow weather warnings from the Met Office.
The rail operator cancelled the first service on every line amid fears tracks could freeze in sub-zero overnight temperatures and there were minor disruptions on a number lines this morning.
Merseyrail said: “The 75 miles of track on the Merseyrail network will be treated to protect them from ice build-up, however the wet weather conditions forecasted can wash the treatment off the rails causing them to freeze.
“Due to this, the first services of the day on each line will run without passengers. Ice on the third rail can cause trains to become stranded, so trains will run empty to ensure routes are clear and that peak time services have the best chance of running normally.”
The forecast snow arrived in the early hours of Tuesday and minor disruptions followed the cancelled trains on the New Brighton, Ellesmere Port and Southport lines.
There are also problems reported on the roads, particularly in hilly areas, where snow and ice are causing vehicles to slip. In Liverpool, the A5047 Mount Vernon Road Eastbound was closed on Tuesday morning and Merseyside Police urged drivers to avoid Everton Valley and St Domingo Road due to 'adverse driving conditions'.
The M57 Southbound exit slip road became blocked after a lorry crashed in the snow and got stuck.
Mersey Ferries also cancelled its morning commuter service - a 10-minute direct service between Seacombe, Wirral and Liverpool - but this was due to low water levels.
The Met Office has a yellow weather warning for snow and ice in place from Tuesday until midnight on Thursday.