Cold comfort as winter bites

PUBLISHED: 10:30 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010

The aftermath of Monday's accident on the A505, in which four people were injured

The aftermath of Monday's accident on the A505, in which four people were injured

ROYSTON is recovering after being hit with a blast of wintry weather this week. About 8cm of snow fell on the town during Sunday night and the early hours of Monday. It continued throughout Monday, and weathermen say more could be on the way in the next

ROYSTON is recovering after being hit with a blast of wintry weather this week.

About 8cm of snow fell on the town during Sunday night and the early hours of Monday.

It continued throughout Monday, and weathermen say more could be on the way in the next few days.

Schools around Royston closed their doors, while treacherous road conditions led to a string of accidents.

Richard Barker, weatherman at Iceni Weather Station in Royston, said that the amount of snow which the area saw this week was "not exceptional" for this time of year.

He said: "On Monday morning I measured 8cm of snow lying on the ground.

"Despite the almost constant snowfall throughout Monday, this was down to 7cm on Tuesday, and 6cm on Wednesday.

"In recent years we've been averaging one big snowfall a year, so although this is the most we've had for some time, I don't see the current weather as anything really exceptional.

"I guess we are just not used to it any more.

"Certainly compared to 15 or 20 years ago it is not very much. In February 1986, for example, we had this kind of snowfall almost every day for a month."

Mr Barker thinks that North Herts could be in for more wintry showers over the next couple of days.

"There will be some sort of precipitation coming up from the south tonight (Thursday) and during Friday morning.

"This could be snow, sleet, or rain, but if it is snow I think it's unlikely there will be as much as Monday.

"It's very difficult to predict the weather because it varies so much locally.

"Here we still have a full covering of snow, but I know that in areas nearer Cambridge it has all melted away," he said.

The inclement weather made driving difficult, and two people had to be cut free from their car after an accident which closed the A505 near Royston on Monday.

The road was closed in both directions from the A10 roundabout near Royston for several hours following the crash, which occurred near the Melbourn turning.

A grey BMW and red Volkswagen Polo were in collision at about 9.20am, and firefighters worked quickly to cut off the roof of the BMW.

One driver was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries, as was his female passenger.

The driver of the other car and a passenger both sustained minor injuries.

Newmarket Road, Royston, was also shut down after a collision, while Sandon Road, Therfield, was blocked after a crash involving a tractor, lorry, and car.

No one was injured in either incident.

Teams from Herts Highways went out four times overnight on Sunday to grit and salt the area's roads.

Cllr Stuart Pile, executive member for highways at Herts County Council, said: "Thanks to the hard work of Hertfordshire Highways, most A and B roads were passable with care."

Some scheduled train services between Royston and Kings Cross were altered because of the weather, but had returned to normal by Wednesday.

All the schools in Royston and the surrounding villages were closed on Monday, and many remained shut on Tuesday as the snow turned to ice.

Children and their families took advantage of the extended weekend to build snowmen or go sledging on Therfield Heath. One family living in North Close, Royston, built a snowman that towered 8ft above the ground.

Kylie Thomas built the snowman for her two-year-old daughter, Kara, with the help of dad, Graham, and brothers Kier and Kris.

She said: "Once we got started we could not stop and now it's at least 8ft."

North Herts District Council suspended refuse and recycling collections following the severe snow falls and ice on Monday and Tuesday.

They resumed yesterday (Wednesday) with the council saying that collections will be made as long as the road is safe for the vehicle to use..

Cllr Lynda Needham, portfolio holder for waste and recycling, said: "We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause but we do have to be mindful of the safety of our residents, and our crews, when moving large collection vehicles around in icy conditions."

To check details of your scheduled collection days, visit www.north-herts.gov.uk

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