Essex: Motorists urged to take care as big freeze continues

ESSEX awoke to a blanket of white yesterday as heavy snowfall swept across the region.

The freezing temperatures are expected to continue throughout the week and motorists leaving for work this morning are urged to take care.

Parents are also advised to check for any closures before sending their children off to school.

Between 10-15cms (4-6in) of snow fell across Essex overnight on Saturday and Sunday.

People were quick to take advantage and head out for a bit of fun, with any slope they could find being used for newly bought and make-shift sledges.

However, the freezing temperatures came with a warning.

And with the mercury set to plummet even further last night motorists heading out this morning are urged to take extra care.

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Jim Bacon, from regional forecasters Weatherquest, said yesterday: “There is a chance of another band of cloud from the west which could be enough to bring sleet and snow, but not as much as we have had.

“However, because temperatures are going to remain so low, there is a risk of frozen roads. It has not been too bad when the roads are quiet but when they are busy, such as the morning rush hour, it could be quite treacherous and drivers should take care.

“The cold weather is predicted to remain with us for the whole week so it is something that we will have to get used to.”

An army of gritters were out in force throughout Essex overnight, as they have been the whole weekend.

The county’s police force was busy dealing with snow-related incidents yesterday.

A police spokesman said they were advising motorists to avoid any unnecessary journeys.

Stansted Airport suspended operations for a period on Saturday night but services resumed yesterday, albeit with some delays.

Meanwhile, the East Of England Ambulance Service received 1,229 calls between 11pm on Saturday and 9am yesterday.

Four patients were taken to hospital following exposure to the cold. With this increase in demand ambulance bosses are appealing for people to only call 999 if really necessary.

Paul Henry, associate director for operations support, said: “We are working hard to avoid or deal with any difficulties in reaching patients or taking them to hospital, but any non-emergency cases might have to be prepared to be patient and wait a little longer than usual.

For more information on transport and services in the cold spell go to