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Military called in to help rescue stranded drivers

A major route connecting Hampshire and Dorset through the New Forest became impassable in both directions.

The military has helped police rescue hundreds of motorists stranded by heavy snow on the A31 in Hampshire.

Police declared a “major incident” after the major route connecting Hampshire and Dorset through the New Forest became impassable in both directions.

Rest centres were set up for those stuck and food and drink brought to those unable to leave their vehicles.

Ryan Butler posted on Twitter: “You’re all doing an amazing job… took me best part of 9 hours from Cadnam to Bournemouth but home safe and sound now. Thank you for all your hard work.”

Chels wrote: “Locals coming to assist with snacks and hot drinks! Troopers in these conditions.”

The road was declared open again just before 6am on Friday but police urged motorists to avoid the area.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “The A31 is moving again now but we would urge drivers to avoid that area while we seek to clear the trapped traffic and recover the abandoned vehicles.

“An amber weather warning for snow, freezing rain and high winds is still in place across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight so once again, we advise against all essential travel.”

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