East Cambs Escapes Worst of the Weather

PUBLISHED: 09:35 01 December 2010

Ely Snow

Ely Snow

Archant

On Tuesday night, temperatures in Ely hit -1 degree centigrade but forecasters predict that by tonight (Thursday) the mercury may drop as low as -3.

Over the coming days, cold temperatures are expected to continue though only irregular showers of sleet are forecast

EAST Cambridgeshire has thus far escaped almost unscathed from the deluges of snow that have caused havoc for millions of people across Britain.

While almost 40cm tumbled across parts of Scotland and the North East earlier this week, East Cambridgeshire was burdened with just 2cm centimetres of snowfall.

The county as a whole has remained largely unhindered by the wintery weather, though temperatures hovering around freezing have made life uncomfortable for most.

More than 15,000 tonnes of grit ordered by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) proved more than sufficient to cope with the county’s demands and as such, all schools in the district remained open.

On Tuesday evening, temperatures in Ely hit -1 degrees centigrade but forecasters predict that by tonight (Thursday) the mercury may drop as low as -3.

Over the coming days, the cold temperatures are expected to continue though only irregular showers of sleet are forecast.

A spokesman for the Met office, the UK’s national weather service, said: “It will continue to be cold over the coming days. It will be windy at first and then later on Thursday and on Friday it will be drier with lighter winds. A little sleet or snow is likely on Saturday.”

The winter is always a busy time for firefighters attending road traffic collisions, with Cambridgeshire’s busy motorways and rural roads becoming especially dangerous in icy conditions. Last year in the county there were 356 road traffic collisions in the autumn and winter and 122 people had to be cut from their cars by firefighters.

Martin Ockenden, station manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), said: “Driving in snow and ice puts stress on drivers and their cars. Before you make any journey this winter you should make sure your car is in a suitable condition and you are well equipped for the weather conditions.

“Drivers should bear in mind that it can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Keep your distance and never assume there is no ice on the road just because you can’t see it.”

Pc Tony Barrios, casualty reduction officer for Cambridgeshire Police, said: “It is important that motorists drive to the conditions of the roads and allow extra time for their journey.

“With freezing temperatures set to continue for the week, motorists and pedestrians should beware of icy patches developing on roads and pavements over the coming days.”

Fire service advice for winter driving:

Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.

Make sure you are equipped with warm clothes, food, boots and a torch. In snowy conditions, take a spade

In winter it is even more important to make sure your vehicle is well maintained and serviced

Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow

It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop

Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin

To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently

If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator, but do not brake suddenly.

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