Residents in parts of the district have spoken of their fury and frustration as their communities remained cut off for more than four days because of the sheer volume of snow.

Some pockets of the district have been stuck behind 10ft snow drifts which left roads unpassable, with residents joining forces to dig their way out in parts of Wilsden, Tyersal and Riddlesden.

Pensioners, pregnant women and those with toddlers have all been affected by the hazardous weather as JCB diggers tried frantically to get the snow cleared in the worst-affected areas.

The occupants of eight homes were left stranded for four nights on Tyersal Lane by a mile long, 5ft deep in places, wall of snow.

The remote spot is surrounded by fields and the track is impassable for vehicles - with some residents comparing the conditions to Britain’s infamous ‘Big Freeze’ winter of 1963.

Other residents, who have been left without food and heating, slammed the Council for not clearing the lane and leaving them cut off.

The wall of snow started about 50 metres along Tyersal Lane from its junction with Ned Lane.

Julie Nunney, of Tyersal House Farm, said her family had been relying on friends to bring them food.

She added: “No-one can believe it. We have been trying since Saturday morning to get someone to come and clear this lane. We have tried Leeds City Council and Bradford Council but no-one is interested. Nobody will help us to clear the lane.

“We have not been able to go anywhere since Friday night. Farmers could not even get tractors through it.

“There were about 25 peaks along the lane where it is seven-foot deep. It is really freaky.”

She said that by yesterday, only about 12 feet of the road had been cleared of drifting snow.

Farm worker John Wilcock added: “It is scandalous. You would think the council would come and help out, especially with families and children being down here.

Phil Mann, who lives at Tyersal Hall, has his car partly buried under the snow.

He said it was engulfed in snow so quickly on Friday night that he didn’t have time to move it and is now without heating because his supply of gas had run out.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “We have been prioritising resources into keeping main roads open which has been difficult in rural areas due to drifting snow. We have now removed most of the blockages and can now direct some resource onto Tyersal Lane, which is not an adopted road, to assist the residents on this private road.”

At Dick Hudsons pub on Otley Road in Bingley, cars have been abandoned after smashing into the pub’s fence.

Not one customer dared tackle the treacherous approach to the pub yesterday morning (TUE) with JCBs and gritters trying to clear the road for the second day running.

Deputy pub manager, Danny Matthews, said that the road had been closed for days with problems starting at 5.30pm on Friday.

“It has been really bad with cars sliding everywhere and smashing into the fence near the pub,” he said.

“A car has gone through our Give Way sign and two abandoned cars are still outside.

“We are now open but yesterday (TUE) we didn’t have anybody in.

“The Council are up here with their JCBs and are hoping to get it sorted.”

Meanwhile Lisa Lees, who lives on Millside Estate, Birkshead, Wilsden, close to Shay Lane, said that residents spent five hours clearing the 5ft drifts in the lane with the help of a digger from a nearby farm.

Shay Lane was blocked both ends until Monday.

“Our neighbour is eight months pregnant,” Mrs Lees said.

“She rang the Council to say she couldn’t get out, and they said they would try and do something about it if she went into labour.

“Forty homes on our estate were affected. We got out yesterday (TUE) morning but I am not sure whether i will be able to get home.

“It is still quite hazardous. We were cut off completely all weekend. Our Co-op had run out of alot of food and milk.”

Neighbour Wendy McCall agreed and said that up until Monday, there was no way in or out of the housing complex.

Kirby Sowden, who lives at Birkshead off Shay Lane in Wilsden, said she and her mother, Rhiannon, had to abandon their car on Friday evening. They were trying to drive along Shay Lane, having turned off Wilsden Road, but had to finish the remaining half mile of their journey on foot.

Drifts of more than 3ft have now cocooned the vehicle.

On Monday evening and yesterday morning they trekked back to try and remove the Astra.

“It’s just totally snowed in. If we tried to dig it out it would take hours.

“It’s never, ever been like this before,” Miss Snowden said.

Vicky Walker, owner of Salter Royd Riding School in Wilsden, said her home and business, which houses 100 horses, had been cut off since Friday because Shay Lane was under 10ft of snow.

“We can’t get in or out. It’s an absolute nightmare.

“Someone came out to clear the snow, but said they couldn’t because there were cars in the way - and we’ve not seen anyone since.

“It feels like we’ve been abandoned. I know it’s not anyone’s fault and we haven’t seen anything like this in a long time, but I hope it gets cleared soon.

“Thankfully we have plenty of food and the horses are indoors.”

A 74-year-old, who lives at Long Lane, Allerton Upper Green, Allerton, described her surroundings as “wall to wall” snow, the worst she had seen since 1963.

“I rang the Council and they said they haven’t got enough diggers and did not have a snow plough,” the pensioner added.

“The lane is so deep with high sides which must be 6ft,” she said.

“My daughter had to walk two hours to her school in Queensbury as it was the only way she could get there. We are all cut off really and one woman here has a five-month-old baby.”


Bradford Council’s highways department has been “inundated” with snow-related requests, receiving more than 600 calls about snow and ice in one day.
Last night, almost all the major routes in the district had reopened after road maintenance staff worked round the clock since before the weekend.
A spokesman said pressure to clear snow was straining resources.
He said: “We are doing the best we can where there have been snow drifts.
“On Monday we received over 600 calls about snow and ice, so our services are under extreme pressure.
“This is not an ordinary situation. There are a lot of calls to get through. We are still being inundated today.”
Drifts 10ft deep were reported at Trough Lane in Oxenhope, while attempts to clear the A6033 between Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge were regularly thwarted by strong winds blowing snow back onto the roads.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Bradford Council road maintenance staff have been working round the clock clearing snow since before last weekend.
“Almost all the major routes have been opened and the 700-mile network has been ploughed and gritted following the heaviest reported snowfall in the country falling on parts of the district, according to national news reports.
“We are still hard at work trying to clear some of the more isolated routes and minor roads as well as making sure that access in sensitive areas is kept open for emergency services and other vehicles. The continued frost means that the snow is not melting and has to be cleared by physical means.”
He said that crews have had to help the emergency services by clearing Fire, Police and ambulance stations so that they can get out to emergencies.
All 26 gritters and seven footway tractor gritter crews have been out since Friday on 12-hour shifts and are still out concentrating on side roads.
But Councillor Russell Brown (Con) said: “Whilst the timing of this latest snowfall could be considered a little surprising, I find myself unsurprised by what appears to be an uneven response on the part of the Council.
Some schools were still affected yesterday, with Carlton Bolling College and Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College both partially closed.
Lees Primary School, in Haworth Road, Keighley, will be closed until April 15 because the boilers have collapsed and the school is freezing.
Bradford Council has had JCBs at Bingley Road, Long Causeway, the A6033 at Oxenhope, Kiln Lane and Lord Lane, and Vale Mill Lane, Haworth.
They have also been digging out in the Laycock area, White Hill, Addingham, Moorside and the A644 in Denholme.
Reopened roads include Todley Hall Road, Green Sykes Road and Tarn Lane, in the Laycock area, Otley Road from Eldwick, Brown Bank Lane, Swartha Lane and Light Bank Lane, all in Silsden, and Cocking Lane, in Addingham.
The B6141 Long Causeway, in Denholme, and Cock Hill Lane, in Shelf, also reopened after snow cleared.
Roads that remained closed included the A6033 Keighley Road to Hebden Bridge, Hangingstone Road, in Ilkley, and Glen Lee Lane, in Keighley.