Arctic grip set to loosen

COLD weather continued to plague the county last night - but temperatures are about to take a turn for the better, according to EADT weatherman Ken Blowers.

COLD weather continued to plague the county last night - but temperatures are about to take a turn for the better, according to EADT weatherman Ken Blowers.

Some 236 schools were closed across Suffolk yesterday - up from just over 80 on Wednesday - as the snow moved into the north of the region.

At least two schools, Hartismere High near Eye and The Ashley Special School in Lowestoft will remain closed today.

The unexpected time off has led to a rise in accidents involving youngsters, according to Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell.

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She said: “We have seen people because of the weather, but fortunately the injuries are not too serious and there have not been too many people in.

“However, there is a marked increase in the amount of school children we have had in, being treated for injuries such as slips and falls.”

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The chilling temperatures also took their toll on the region's rail services, with commuters on Anglia Railways mainline services hit by delays.

Peter Meades, a spokesman for Anglia Rail, said that problems with points failures and the knock-on effects of an accident on the London line on Wednesday night were responsible for the delays.

Last night, the 18.27 and 18.42 London to Norwich trains were both cancelled.

Mr Meades added: “It's not been too bad but we've had a few delays which have caused other reactionary delays through the day. We've been playing catch-up.

“We hope that things will run relatively smoothly from now on. The key message to passengers is that all routes are open and running relatively well.

“There are delays linked to the weather but we are doing our best to minimise those.”

Meanwhile, drivers reacted to the sub-zero conditions well although a three-car crash blocked the A14 at Newmarket for around 45 minutes yesterday afternoon.

All the region's major routes were gritted to combat the icy conditions, which saw road temperatures plummet to lows of -5 Celsius.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “There have been a few minor accidents on back roads but thankfully there hasn't been any serious injuries reported.

“Generally, we are very pleased with the way that people have been driving. It proves that when motorists reduce their speed and take extra care while driving, our roads become safer for everyone.”

Bus routes were hit hard, with the greatest problems in Hadleigh and Haverhill, while four waste collection sites were closed all day.

Ipswich mobile libraries did not go out, and facilities at Thurston and in Great Cornard were also closed.

But last night EADT weatherman Ken Blowers said conditions are about to change. He added: “We've seen the last of the snow but there will be a frost and temperatures will drop to -3 C (27F) on Friday morning - where there is any snow about, it will of course turn to ice.

“But then people will be pleased to hear of a complete change coming. After having cold blasts from the arctic, south-westerly winds are going to take over from the Atlantic and that is going to bring the temperature up to 9C (49F) over the weekend.

“The outlook for the next several days is cloudy and mild, with occasional rain coming from the west.”

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