Sudden snow strands Cornish students

Kernow-branded First South West 33304 (WK18 CFV), an Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC, stuck in snow in Bodmin on 1 February.

Hundreds of students were stranded overnight and passengers were stuck on buses for several hours as heavy snow swept across parts of the West Country on 31 January, with Cornwall hit particularly hard.

Significant snow fell quickly in east Cornwall during the afternoon, with First South West soon reporting buses stuck right across the Bodmin, Bude, Newquay and Truro areas as roads became impassable.

Staff remained on duty into the night to return passengers home, with journeys taking up to 11hr. Some drivers slept at depots and elsewhere, with numerous buses having to be recovered the following morning.

Plymouth Citybus quickly suspended its Go Cornwall Bus services west of Liskeard and north of Hatt, while its Liskeard, Looe and Callington schoolbuses picked up children but were held until it was safe to continue.

It was unable to operate its contracted network of 12 routes from the post-16 Callywith College in Bodmin, resulting in 350 students and 25 staff sleeping in the college overnight with the Asda supermarket supplying free bedding.

Its buses were stranded at various locations with some drivers not making it home.

Students were eventually transported home the following morning when both First and Citybus services faced further disruption. National Express routes serving Cornwall were curtailed at Plymouth. Snow and ice also caused some disruption in parts of Devon, Somerset and Dorset but most services were back to normal by 2 February.