Snow Brings St. Albans to a Standstill
By StAlbansRobin | Saturday, December 18, 2010, 18:23
Heavy snow, which fell until around 15.30 today, brought St. Albans to a standstill on a day during which local market traders and retailers hoped would be one of their most lucrative of the year.
Holywell Hill Was Closed to Vehicles
Even St. Peter's Street Was Treacherous
The snow, which began to fall early in the morning, on top of yesterday's layer of about half an inch, appears to be several inches deep in places. Local roads have not been cleared at all since the snow began, at least not visibly.
St. Peter's Street, normally busy with traffic on a Saturday, was almost entirely deserted this afternoon at 3pm. Market traders held on, with most keeping stalls open until at least 4pm, but many had tables covered with more snow than goods for sale in what must have been a hugely disappointing day for them.
Holywell Hill, one of the main arteries into and out of the City, was closed by police. Shoppers who braved the snow could be seen walking up the centre of the closed rode, with some observed pulling children on sledges.
Many shops also closed due to the weather, with Barclays in St. Peter's Street closed by around 2pm and other shops following suit. The larger retailers in town, however, were mostly open with staff at M&S, BHS and Tesco mopping up the snow tracked in by customers in an effort to keep the floors from becoming dangerous to those who did brave the weather to buy last minute gifts.
The Cock, at the top of St. Peter's Street, appeared, however, to have benefited from the weather, and was completely packed with customers seeking a warm respite from the weather outside.
Cars were seen being pushed up the hill on Folly Lane, towards town, by helpful pedestrians. Several ambulances and busses were also seen, apparently abandoned, at various points in St. Peter's Street.
Sunday, for many families, will be spent sledging in the park, at Batchwood, and other other favourite sledging sites. Local retailers, however, are bound to be counting the cost of the inclement weather on what has always been one of the most important shopping days of the year, the last weekend before Christmas.