Warning of dangerous sheet ice on roads

MOTORISTS are today being warned of the dangers of sheet ice on the roads after yesterday's thaw.

Simon Tomlinson

MOTORISTS are today being warned of the dangers of sheet ice on the roads after yesterday's thaw.

Police have urged against complacency over fears that roads would seem less hazardous to drivers.

Temperatures are predicted to stay around the freezing mark over the next few days, potentially leaving patches of ice hidden within the sludge of melting snow.

Forecaster Steve Western, from Weatherquest, said: “During the day, there will be a slight thaw and then at night it will re-freeze. This will create sheet ice.”

A slight respite from the snow is anticipated today and tomorrow, but there is a possibility of more on Wednesday.

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A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We would ask people not to be complacent with this thaw and to exercise extra caution in the wet and icy conditions.”

Higher temperatures yesterday caused the heavy snow that coated the region to melt.

Most main routes in Suffolk were clear over the weekend, but travel conditions remained hazardous.

The state of rural roads near Woodbridge prompted The White Horse pub in Badingham to offer supplies of bread and milk at cost price to villagers unable to make it to the shops.

In Felixstowe, Operation Stack remained “technically” in place around the port over the weekend with no new deliveries being taken.

The gritters have been in force in the two counties over the weekend. A container ship is due to deliver a week's worth of salt to Ipswich docks today.

Particular attention will be given to schools which are making every effort to open to allow students to take their AS-Level examinations.

Police also issued a warning for all motorists not to leave their cars unlocked with the engine running while defrosting after a Range Rover was stolen from outside a house.

The owner of the red car in The Street, Holywell Row, near Mildenhall, switched on the engine and went back inside.

In that time, thieves got inside the motor and drove away at about 10.20pm on Thursday. It was later found abandoned in Upper Caldecote, Bedfordshire.

Anyone with information on this crime should call Pc Adam Haylock on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

In Essex, there was enough salt for the gritters to cover a reduced network - all A and B roads including routes near emergency services buildings - for the next 10 days.

Norman Hume, Essex County Council cabinet member for highways and transportation, said decisions were being made on a day-to-day basis depending on the weather forecast and other factors.

The council's fleet of 65 gritting lorries were due to cover the entire network in anticipation of this morning's rush hour.

A reduced coverage had been operated on Friday and Saturday to conserve the county's supply of salt after a country-wide shortage.