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Work is continuing across County Durham to ensure minimum disruption for residents following heavy snowfall.

Teams from across Durham County Council have been working hard from Wednesday evening, with gritters and snow ploughs out overnight and throughout the day to keep roads and paths clear wherever possible.

The gritters have been out again on all priority one routes from 4pm this afternoon and will then be on standby, going out where needed, at 4am on Friday morning.

The A66 has now re-opened although drivers are still advised to take care and plan their journey according to the latest weather conditions.

A number of roads remain closed across the county and will be so overnight:

– The B6278 Stanhope to Eggleston

– C20 Meadow Edge, Stanhope to Bay Bridge, Blanchland

– The unclassified 16.2, Rookhope to Blanchland

– C28 Westgate in Weardale to Newbiggin in Teesdale.

While the majority of schools across the county remained open, many were closed for all or part of the day. Parents are advised to visit for updated information on when schools will re-open.

The severe weather has also disrupted rubbish and recycling collections, particularly in the north and south of the county.

Extra collections will take place over the weekend and into next week to catch up on those missed. Affected residents are advised to leave their bins in the usual place and they will be emptied as soon as possible.

John Reed, the council’s head of technical services, said: “The weather has improved as the day has gone on with less in the way of snowfall but our teams have continued to work to ensure roads and paths are as clear as possible.

“Our gritting teams have worked throughout the day to ensure the main roads in the county are clear.

“In Weardale, winds have presented real challenges for our staff with snow blowing across roads making them impassable. However the teams have been out with snow ploughs and blowers to ensure as little disruption as possible for residents.

“We are out gritting this evening and our staff will be on standby from 4am tomorrow but we would just remind motorists to take extra care when making journeys.”