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Businesses pay price for snowfall and disruption

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 23, 2013

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BUSINESS leaders have warned that Burton must become better at dealing with snow and flooding or face ‘horrendous’ economic damage.

The Burton and District Chamber of Commerce said the town needed to become ‘better adapted’ for harsh weather conditions.

The chamber also appeared to criticise teachers for deciding to close schools, which in turn forced parents to take days off.

Spokesman Chris Plant said: “When you actually make the journey into work, it isn’t that bad.

“Flooding and snow are becoming an increasing part of our weather pattern and we need to become better adapted.

“There will be lots of parents who have been unable to get into work because of the closure of all the schools, which is horrendous for our economic well-being.”

Mr Plant’s warning came as Burton and South Derbyshire endured a third working day of disruption, although roads were generally clearer yesterday than on Monday.

All schools in Burton and South Derbyshire were open again yesterday following dozens of closures on Monday and Friday.

But highways chiefs again faced criticism for the levels of grit.

Walker David Gould, 22, said: “The pavements in Burton have been treacherous. They were covered in ice. I would have been safer walking in the middle of the road. Old people must have been forced to stay in, but there has to be a duty of care.”

Meanwhile East Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers South Derbyshire, revealed it had received 900 more 999 calls at the weekend than the same two days in 2012. West Midlands Ambulance Service, which covers East Staffordshire, said emergency call-outs were up nearly 20 per cent at the height of the Arctic spell.

But weather experts have forecast that the worst of the cold has passed for now.

Richard Jeffries, of Rosliston Weather Station, said he had recorded 4.7 inches of snow over the weekend. The lowest temperature during the recent cold snap was -5.6 degrees centigrade, he added.

“It’s not been as cold as December 2010, but there has been more snow overall,” Mr Jeffries said. “Much milder weather should push in from the west by Friday.

“For now, we are through the worst of it. Next week should be much milder.

“I’m expecting things to be cold but dry for the rest of this week. There could be odd flurries of snow though.”

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