Radio Sandwell News

Drivers are warned of ice across the UK

2012-12-06 18:10:10

Snow and Ice

Drivers are being warned to beware of ice as freezing temperatures continue across the UK.

In Scotland, there were few major travel problems reported despite warnings that snow and ice could disrupt transport.

Snow fell in the north east of England where some roads became hazardous.

A temperature of minus 8.7C was recorded overnight at Benson in Oxfordshire, with minus 12.9C recorded at Braemar in Aberdeenshire.

Met Office yellow warnings - advising drivers to "be aware" of the danger of ice - are in place in Scotland, Wales, north-east and north-west England, Yorkshire and Humber, and south-west England.

It comes after snow fell in north-eastern Scotland and parts of southern England on Wednesday, causing road accidents and rail delays.

Two schools in Aberdeenshire were closed and 50 others closed to pupils having to travel or changed the usual transport routes.

Grampian Police said the A90 became "very congested" after a head-on crash in Balmedie, eight miles north of Aberdeen, in which two people were injured.

Commuters in London had a slightly easier journey into work on Thursday but a broken-down train at Colchester and a signal problem near Gidea Park in east London caused severe delays for people travelling in from Essex.

Richard Hebditch, campaigns director for the Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Snow delays are a legacy of running our railways on the cheap for many years.

"While that's far less often the case now, we still need accurate information before people travel and enough rolling stock to cope with delays and breakdowns when they do happen. The idea that we're the only country in Europe to suffer this problem is a bit of a myth."

A Network Rail spokesman said their fleet of "track-defrosting" trains had been deployed this week on the electrified "third rail network" - south of the river Thames - which is susceptible to icing up.

A Highways Agency spokesman urged drivers to check local weather and travel advice before setting off, to heed warnings on electronic message signs and to drive "in an appropriate way for the conditions, leaving extra time for journeys and extra room for braking".

Meanwhile, British Gas says it expects to receive almost 250,000 calls for help from customers this week - nearly 70,000 more than in an average week.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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