MONDAY marked the first day of spring but in some parts of the region on Wednesday morning it felt more like the depths of winter.

Large areas of the North-East and North Yorkshire woke to discover a winter wonderland outside their front doors after heavy snowfall through the night.

As temperatures dropped to -3 degrees, up to 9cm of snow fell in parts of the North leaving the region picturesque, but hazardous for road users.

Treacherous driving conditions caught out a gritter which left the road and toppled on to its side near Hamsterley village, in County Durham.

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A gritter lays on its side in a field near Hamsterley Village, in County Durham. Picture: Andy Hutchfield

Mark Readman, highways services manager at Durham County Council said: “Fortunately the driver of the vehicle does not appear to have been seriously injured and we are all grateful for that.

“Accidents of this nature are rare but, as with any such incident, we are undertaking a thorough investigation of the circumstances and the treatment of this route was completed by another gritter.”

Durham County Council has advised motorists to take extra care on the A68, the A689, pictured below, and the B6277 where snowfall is at its thickest.

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The A68 was blocked both ways at Allensford, near Consett, in County Durham, after a lorry jackknifed this morning. The lorry has now been recovered and the road has reopened.

At Newby Head Pass in the Yorkshire Dales, roads were impassable for some vehicles this morning with drifting snow measuring nine inches in places.

Yorkshire shepherdess, Amanda Owen, posted this tweet of the conditions at her farm in the Dales.

During the morning motorists were forced to push their cars after they became stuck on the A66, while stranded lorries blocked the A67.

While there will still be showers and a cold northeasterly wind across the hills and on the coast on Thursday, the Met Office has said any further snowfall should be confined to the tops of the Pennines and Cheviots.

Met Office forecaster Grahame Madge said: “By Friday morning this weather system will have largely cleared and an area of high pressure will move in. This will mean clearer skies and more settled conditions. It will be fairly bright and sunny from Friday and this should last through the whole weekend."