Weather latest: 12.30pm update

WINTRY WEATHER ... shoppers brave the sleet at South Shields Market Place.
WINTRY WEATHER ... shoppers brave the sleet at South Shields Market Place.

HEAVY snowfalls in the North East made for a tricky journey to work for many commuters this morning.

Northumbria Police said the A68 in Northumberland was closed northbound of the A69 Stagshaw Roundabout outside Corbridge to Carter Bar.

The A696 is also closed from Belsay to the A68.

Several minor roads in North Northumberland are currently experiencing difficulties, with some sections impassable.

There are generally difficult driving conditions across the force area, but particularly in Northumberland.

Motorists are advised to only travel if necessary and ensure they use their headlights at all times as visibility is poor.

Allow extra time for any journeys and moderate speed, try not to brake sharply, use the gears instead to decelerate and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Drivers were advised to avoid the B6341 at Rothbury where, there a council-run snow plough system was in place in both directions to get vehicles in and out of the town safely.

And there was a four-vehicle collision on the A189 Spine Road at Cramlington, next to the 3 Horse Shoes roundabout.

Officers also said the A1 in the Newcastle area suffered traffic congestion.

South Tyneside escaped the worst of the weather for the moment, with most of the falls coming down as sleet.

A spokesman said: “There are difficult driving conditions across the force at the current time and motorists are advised to take their time on the roads.

“Snowfall is expected throughout the rest of the day, and we will continue to have officers out in the community.

“Gritters have been out throughout the night and will continue throughout today.”