09:31 Tuesday 22 January 2013

Mayhem as snow and ice bring region to standstill


HEAVY congestion greeted motorists returning to work yesterday morning after a night of snowfall.

Both homeowners and drivers are being warned of further icy conditions today.

Councils have also come under fire for the level of gritting on Burton and South Derbyshire’s roads.

Motorist Darren Tithecott-Studden, of Church Gresley, complained to the Mail that roads had been left untreated yesterday morning as he drove to visit his 90-year-old grandfather.

“I do find it irresponsible of the council not to grit where elderly people live,” he said.

Highways chiefs in Staffordshire attracted similar criticism. Motorists told the Mail the condition of the A38 seemed poor.

Meanwhile schools, from small village primaries to large secondaries, continued to close their doors amid safety concerns.

East Staffordshire Borough Council announced all bin collections due yesterday would be cancelled. Residents whose bins were not emptied have been asked to put them out again in two weeks’ time.

The council said: “Unfortunately this type of severe weather does have an impact on our service as refuse vehicles are vulnerable to skidding, with the potential to cause considerable damage.”

Public transport continued to suffer as trains and buses were delayed. East Midlands Airport in Castle Donington cancelled 32 flights between 11pm on Sunday and 2pm yesterday, when normal service resumed.

Staffordshire County Council said it had scattered 1,200 tonnes of salt during 24 hours over Sunday and Monday, with 20,000 tonnes left in stock.

Highways chief councillor Mike Maryon said: “The gritting crews have worked incredibly hard throughout the weekend to keep Staffordshire’s roads as safe as possible and on the move. Over the weekend we have gritted up to 80 per cent of Staffordshire’s 6,000km of roads to keep the county moving. It has never been possible to grit every residential street.”

Derbyshire county councillor Carol Hart added: “We’re aiming to maintain essential frontline services by co-ordinating efforts between all the partner organisations to prioritise help where it’s needed most.”

The Met Office has forecast a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow today. Severe weather warnings remain in place across the country.

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