HEAVY snowfall caused chaos across Burnley over the weekend.
Blizzards battered the borough with up to a foot of snow falling in parts of East Lancashire on Friday night.
Drivers came grinding to a halt along the M6 and M65 motorways and dozens of cars were abandoned by motorists as wintry weather set in.
Police warned motorists not to venture out on the roads as heavy snow hit at around 8pm following an amber weather warning from the Met Office.
Highways Agency officials were called out to help stricken drivers and Lancashire County Council snow ploughs were out in force trying to clear major routes.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “The snowfall was very sudden and very heavy - over a foot in some places - causing cars to become stranded.
“But we managed to get through the traffic and clear most routes to get people moving again.”
Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Teams were on standby throughout the night to help ambulances through the snow to emergency incidents.
Andy Simpson, of RPMRT, said: “The snowfall was astonishing. It took people by surprise. Some of our teams were very busy.
“It was all hands to the pump.
“But many people heeded the warnings to stay at home and wrap up so there were not as many calls as we expected.
“We were mainly keeping the ambulances going – some had gone out and got stuck and some that needed assistance to even get out from the ambulance stations so they could deploy in the first place.
“The M65 was a potential trap but it was cleared and we were not called out to that.”
Taxis stopped running between Burnley and Padiham as driving conditions became treacherous and many side roads were impassable.
Worsthorne, Harle Syke and outlying villages were hit hard by snow and many had to abandon cars because of deep snow drifts.
Raynor Pepper, of Lindsay Park, Worsthorne, said: “It was horrendous. We had a good foot of snow. It started at tea time and by 7pm it was pelting it down.
“Pike Hill was bad and so was Brunshaw Road. There were cars abandoned along Brownside Road.
“I rang a taxi and they said if it carried on snowing then there would be no chance. By 10-30pm there were no taxis running to Worsthorne at all.
“It was amazing how quickly it all came down. There were lots of people out snowballing and sledging and when I took my dog out for a walk the snow was up to her stomach.”
Bus services to Harle Syke, Worsthorne and Colne were hit and the M65 was down to one lane as Burnley awoke to a thick blanket of snow on Saturday morning.
Many roads were impassable as drivers struggled with deep snow and ice although the motorway and other major routes were cleared by midday. Despite the weather Burnley’s Championship clash with Birmingham City at Turf Moor went ahead.
Daytime temperatures rose the snow turned to rain. By Sunday heavy rain had washed much of the low-lying snow away and there were fears of localised flooding from the meltwater.