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Gallery: More snow is forecast for Suffolk and Essex

09:21 16 January 2013

West Suffolk suffers from heavy snow showers. Drivers struggle against the elements on Bury Road, Lavenham.

West Suffolk suffers from heavy snow showers. Drivers struggle against the elements on Bury Road, Lavenham.

Archant

THE WINTRY weather is set to continue over the next few days, with the prospect of more snow.

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Yesterday motorists and residents were being asked to take extra care as temperatures were set to plummet to -6/7 degrees last night.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said between midnight on Monday night and about 6.30pm yesterday there had been 113 weather-related road incidents.

In the morning drivers faced delays due to five accidents on the A14 - at Woolpit, Rougham, Coddenham, Bury St Edmunds and Risby - and a crash on the A143, Diss Road, near Wattisfield, left a man with a broken leg.

In Essex, there were 24 road traffic accidents between midnight and noon yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said 45 gritters had been sent out to cover about 3,300km of Suffolk’s roads.

And a spokeswoman for the Highways Agency - which is responsible for trunk roads and motorways - said six gritters had been operating across the county, covering the A14, A12 and A11.

Phil Garner, a forecaster with Weatherquest, said today there would be one or two light snow showers across the county with some freezing fog patches particularly in the western area of the county and along the Cambridgeshire border, adding temperatures would struggle to get above freezing.

Tomorrow should be dry, but very cold initially with widespread sharp frost and perhaps an isolated snow shower, and Friday is also set to be dry, but snow is forecast for overnight and into Saturday morning.

Mr Garner said there really was a “high level of doubt” over the weekend’s weather, but it looked like it would brighten up on Saturday with the prospect of further sleet or snow, probably continuing through Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Daytime temperatures will be around 2/3 degrees at the highest with a touch of frost overnight.

Speaking yesterday he said: “I think the ice and frost are potentially treacherous tonight [Tuesday] and people should take it very carefully indeed.”

He said 2-4cm of snow had fallen yesterday in east Suffolk and Norfolk [by late afternoon].

In Essex, the county council’s fleet of 60 gritters were treating the roads from midday yesterday and Highways Agency gritters were working on routes including the A12 and A120.

To keep up to speed with Essex County Council’s gritting lorries online visit www.essex.gov.uk/highways

Residents can also receive the latest gritting updates by following @Essex_Travel on Twitter and to check which routes will be treated visit www.essex.gov.uk/highways.

The county councils and police forces have been continuing to issue safety advice.

Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, said it was “imperative” motorists did all they could to regularly check the weather forecast, drive to the conditions and stay safe on the county’s roads.

Advice from Suffolk police includes making sure all car lights are working, that all windows are fully cleared of snow before setting off on a journey and to make sure there is sufficient fuel. Full advice is available at www.suffolk.police.uk

Neil Storey, director of emergency operations for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), said despite the adverse weather conditions the service had increased its resources, but added people could help themselves by taking measures such as avoiding unnecessary outings, wearing sensible footwear and carrying supplies if they have to travel.

He said: “We ask that people bear with us during this period as priority is always given to the most life-threatening calls and our crews must look out for their own safety and that of other road users.”

Further advice can be found by visiting http://www.eastamb.nhs.uk/winter-campaign-2012.htm

Mr McGregor said lessons were being learned from previous winters in terms of preparing the county for the snow, adding an increasing number of the their gritting lorries have temperature sensitive equipment.

“All I can really emphasise is I do believe we do prepare ourselves well [for the snow] in Suffolk.”

Schools in Suffolk remained open yesterday and Greater Anglia rail services were unaffected.

The wintry weather also did not have an adverse effect on A&E admissions at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, but a spokeswoman said it was currently very busy and urged people to think carefully about the most appropriate place to go if they need treatment.

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  • The idea by Essex CC of setting up information sites on road gritting is good, now Suffolk CC please follow - NOT next year, now. If people had this information to hand, they might be able to plan time their journeys better. If you do, please keep it up to date - not like the "schools closed" site which was 24 hrs behind.

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