Drivers are now able to return to Cumbria's roads - but police are still urging caution

Following "intensive and ongoing work" by police, mountain rescue, the fire service and local councils the public are being advised they can now drive.

Police say all lower level roads in the south and west of the county, which were less affected than the north and east, are clear, a few high level roads in these areas remain closed.

Back roads and high roads should still be avoided where possible and drivers are always advised to drive to the conditions.

A force spokesman said: "There are still a number of roads in the north and east (and high roads) that are closed. Work will continue to clear closed roads as swiftly as possible in these adverse conditions, many roads are anticipated to open throughout the day.

"The speed restrictions on the M6 have been lifted and the A69 was also reopened this morning following a coordinated multiagency approach to clear it."

Superintendent Matt Kennerley said: “Following the hard work by all emergency services and partner agencies, we are now advising that the public are able to drive in the county, but, please do so with care and always drive to the conditions in front of you. We would also advise drivers to stick to main roads.

“If you do plan on travelling make sure you dress appropriately, warm layers, make sure your phone has a full battery, take medication with you, plenty of provisions and blankets in case your journey meets delays or you should find yourself stuck in your vehicle.

“Please also be aware that night fall will bring heightened hazards, things you can see now such as ice and snow become that much harder in the dark.

"If you must travel in the dark please take care, slow down, and check your car is road worthy such as oil, lights, petrol, working breaks and tyre tread before you make your journey.

“Thank you to all our officers and partners who have together, been working around the clock, to keep the people of Cumbria safe.

"I would also like to thank the people of Cumbria for their ongoing support and cooperation.”

Overnight there were lots of problems in the east of the county with wagons reportedly getting stuck and passengers being trapped on a train near Brampton.

Gusts of 105mph were recorded at Great Dun Fell, east of Penrith.

The authorities are currently on the A66 working to clear this road and are taking supplies to cut off communities such as Alston.

Storm Emma brought with her more adverse weather last night as she clashed with the so-called Beast from the East, which had left the county covered in several inches of snow.

The wind has caused a snowstorm-like effect in many places.

Many roads remain closed today - a full list can be found here.

Last night officers had to help rescue a stranded motorist on the A69 and helped save 16 people who'd become trapped on a train near Brampton, which was one of the worst affected areas.

Officers from British Transport Police and Cumbria Constabulary have been assisting at the incident.

Brampton remains one of the worst hit areas today.

Wagons are parked up on the side of the A689 between the Brampton west turn off and the A69 roundabout.

Some have been stuck for 16 hours and decided to abandon their vehicles as snow drifted across the carriageway.

Peter Bell, of GF Bell, was driving from Glasgow to County Durham.

He said: “There was also a woman stranded here in her car with two young children and a dog.

“She kept the engine running all night.

“A tractor came and pulled her out this morning.

“I’ve been alright, I have been nice and warm and had plenty of food.

“There hasn’t been much communication from the police.”

The A689 and A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner are closed in both directions with reports of numerous vehicles being trapped.

Drivers are urged not to drive the route or go past "Road Closed" signs and put themselves or others at risk.

The A69 was hit by several accidents and problems throughout yesterday with a number of jack-knifed lorries and crashes.

In total there were more than 100 incidents on the roads yesterday.

Anyone in a vehicle who is in need of assistance is asked to contact police on 101 with a reminder to dial 999 in an emergency.

Earlier yesterday evening, there were strong words from one of Cumbria's most senior police officers not to go out on the roads as snow drifts up to 12-feet deep were being reported in parts of south west Scotland.

Superintendent Mark Pannone, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: "This is not the normal snowfall Cumbria sees most years, it is making condition treacherous and I ask you not to drive unless your health, or the health of someone else, would suffer if you didn’t.

"We rarely say don’t drive and we hope that on this occasion people will take heed.

"The north and east of the county are currently worst hit, but the next 24 hours will be bad across the county."

He added: "Over the last 48 hours the police, mountain rescue, fire and rescue, councils and other partner agencies have been out working to keep the public safe.

"We have been dealing with a high level of weather related incidents including numerous road traffic collisions, many roads are hazardous, and so I state again, please do not drive unless you absolutely have to.

"This adverse weather is set to be with us for at least the next 48 hours and so I thank the people of Cumbria for their ongoing support, for sticking together and for showing community spirit."