Snow leads to an early rush hour

Snow covered most of the Netherlands by mid-afternoon on Thursday in the first real snow fall since December 2005. The traffic information service VID reported just over 100 kilometres of traffic jams by 3pm, caused mainly by people leaving work early to avoid rush hour jams.

Drivers were warned to beware of very slippery conditions as the temperatures dropped to near freezing. Extra traffic was also expected because Dutch Rail reduced the number of commuter trains to cut the risk of trains becoming stranded.
A number of schools throughout the country closed early. One secondary school in Leiden closed its doors at 11am as many of its pupils had to cycle 10 kilometres to get home.
The national weather bureau KNMI, which had issued a snow alarm on Wednesday night, said it expected between five and 10 centimetres of snow to fall across the country on Thursday.
Because of the extensive warnings, all main roads had been sprinkled with grit and salt to keep them clear. Such an operation requires 1,500 tonnes of salt and costs around €500,000, a spokesman for the roads authority told ANP. Some 500 salt sprinklers and 850 snow ploughs had been put into service on Thursday, the spokesman said.

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