Rescuers at the site high in the northern Pennines. Photo: NNPMRT

Rescuers at the site high in the northern Pennines. Photo: NNPMRT

Volunteer rescuers were called to the aid of motorists stranded in wintry conditions on the England-Scotland border.

Police contacted Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team late on Saturday afternoon to help deal with a number of people stuck at Carter Bar in the Cheviots.

Other drivers were stuck further east on the A68 near Elishaw.

Team members were carrying out welfare checks on members of the community in remote and rural areas in the aftermath of Storm Arwen when they were called upon to help. They battled winter conditions to reach the stranded drivers.

Keith Briggs, team leader for North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team, said: “We swiftly deployed three of our emergency vehicles to those locations.

“Our volunteers reported that driving conditions were extremely challenging in those areas because of the snow and poor visibility.”

More mountain rescue volunteers were on standby in case further help was needed.

“Once we arrived at Ridsdale, we could see that a number of vehicles had become stuck in the snow.” Iain Nixon, team leader from Northumberland national park team said.

“The windchill was significant, probably in the region of -8C to -10C and it was snowing heavily. We used our vehicles to ferry people down to the Gun Inn for some warmth and Northumberland hospitality.

“We’d like to offer our thanks to the owners of the inn and everyone in the local community for their assistance.”

As conditions eased, Northumberland County Council snow ploughs were able to clear the roads and the mountain rescue teams escorted the remaining vehicles back down the A68 to Corbridge and stood down.

“It was 2am when we finally got home for a hot chocolate and good night’s rest.” Iain said.

With more snow forecast this week both for the hills and high roads, both teams are asking members of the public who are venturing out to check the conditions and to make sure that they have the skills for the activity they have planned.

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