A woman who had been visiting Colchester for the day spent the whole night stuck on the M25, after a snowstorm blocked the road by causing breakdowns and crashes. Gemma Rydqvist left the Essex city at 7pm last night (Sunday, December 11) and didn’t get home until 7.40am this morning (Monday, December 12).
The 38-year-old had been visiting Colchester with her mum Pamela, aged 60, and expected the trip home to take an hour. Instead, she spent the entire night helping push cars which had been stranded on the road and says it was “atrocious”. “There were so many crashes, people were stuck in the middle of the road – you couldn’t move. I don’t know how many cars I had to push,” she said.
Speaking today she said: “I am so happy to be home. I walked in my door at 7.40am this morning. I had my disabled mum in the car. We had no water – she was suffering. There was nothing we could do. The authorities were totally unprepared. It was horrendous but there was a real sense of community. Everyone was helping each other.”
A video filmed at 4am shows the motorway littered with static cars and Gemma spent the night shivering in their car, getting totally stuck between junction 24 and 25 of the M25 for three hours. The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for ice and fog across the UK today. Last night was the coldest night of the year, with temperatures hitting -15.7C in some areas.
The disruption continued this morning as cars became stranded and lorries jack-knifed on the M25 as it was covering in thick snow, despite the efforts of National Highways gritters and snowploughs. Queues of vehicles sat on the motorway throughout the morning waiting for the way to be cleared and videos show lane markings were completely covered.
Congestion eased by 10am and the road are now completely clear, with icy conditions set to continue throughout the day – but no fresh snowfall expected.