Gridlock after crashes in the snow

MOTORISTS in parts of Suffolk faced grid-lock today after a series of crashes in the morning rush-hour.Heavy snow fell in the early hours of this morning causing chaos on the county's roads and leading to several crashes on major routes.

MOTORISTS in parts of Suffolk faced grid-lock today after a series of crashes in the morning rush-hour.

Heavy snow fell in the early hours of this morning causing chaos on the county's roads and leading to several crashes on major routes.

The worst of the chaos was caused by a jack-knifed lorry which blocked the A14 Felixstowe-bound at Whitehouse, Ipswich around 6.30am.

The road was closed at the Asda roundabout and traffic was diverted through Ipswich and along the A1156, Felixstowe Road.

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Recovery vehicles arrived on scene shortly before 8.30am but Bramford Road and Norwich Road in Ipswich were already at a stand-still.

The problem worsened when a lorry broke down on the same carriageway at Wherstead and blocking one lane. That vehicle was expected to be recovered by 8.30am.

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Anne-Marie Breach, spokeswoman for Suffolk police, said: “We had a number of accidents reported to us this morning some of which may have been down to the road conditions.

“Although the weather is not predicted to continue much beyond this week we would ask drivers to drive appropriately to the conditions and to take extra caution if there is snow, slush or ice on the road.”

Chaos also hit the A12 after two crashes in the space of 15 minutes in the same area.

Paramedics from Essex were called to the Ipswich-bound carriageway at Capel St Mary at about 7.30am as other crews were busy elsewhere. Miss Breach said a 4x4 had ended up on its side off the road but the male driver appeared to have escaped unhurt.

Meanwhile, two people were taken to Colchester General Hospital with minor injuries following a crash on the London-bound carriageway at Stratford St Mary at about 7.30am.The road was clear by 8am.

Suffolk County Council sent 38 gritters out last night to prevent ice blighting the county's roads and the Highways Agency had 11 gritters out in Suffolk at midnight, concentrating much of their efforts on the A12 and A14.

They also went back out onto the trunk roads this morning to grit the routes again.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said:“The Met Office issued a severe weather warning urging drivers to keep an eye on the conditions.

“It is a partnership and people should check the conditions before they travel and drive to the conditions.

“The conditions weren't so bad that we asked people not to travel but, in the conditions, people need to be aware of their braking distance and slow down.”

Despite chaos on the roads today no schools in the county are thought to have been closed because of the weather.

Were you caught up in the traffic chaos? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

Police temporarily closed Colchester Road in Ipswich last night after an accident.

The two-vehicle collision occurred shortly after 8pm close to Valley Road.

A middle-aged woman is thought to have been treated for shock and a minor neck injury but was not believed to be seriously injured.

Earlier, at 4pm, traffic was disrupted after a four vehicle accident at Nacton Road, Ipswich.

A white Ford Transit van, a blue Citroen Saxo, a green Skoda Felicia and a blue Ford Escort were in collision at the roundabout near McDonalds restaurant.

Ambulance crews, firefighters and police attended the scene and Nacton Road was closed to traffic travelling towards the town centre.Two people were taken to Ipswich Hospital with minor injuries.

TOMORROW marks the first day of Spring but it will be a few more days before the weather begins to improve.

Ken Blowers, Evening Star weatherman, said more snow and sleet showers were predicted but the worst of the weather had now probably passed.

He said: “There was an hour of snow starting about 6am and then the temperature crept up and the snow turned to sleet and hail.

“I should say there was up to an inch of snow in Ipswich and it was caused by an arctic air stream.

“There are northerly winds and that means, over East Anglia, it is going to be no more than 6C today.”

Mr Blowers said the temperature was likely to increase to about 8C tomorrow but the wind would drop and it would feel warmer with Spring returning by next week.

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