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Schools reopen as health chief thanks public for snow response in Bath

By Chron_News  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

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2.20pm UPDATE: Snow latest. A yellow warning for snow and ice has been issued for much of the west country. The Met Office has said the highest risk of snow tomorrow was in the west of region. "Snow may extend east as far as Wiltshire and Hampshire late on Tuesday. Some 2-5 cm of snow is likely in places with a risk of as much as 5-10 cm, more particularly high ground."

2.11pm UPDATE: Charlotte Street Car Park in Bath has reopened.

2.00pm UPDATE: The road has been cleared after a broken down bus was removed from the A367 Wellsway.

An accident has been cleared from High Street in Twerton.

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11.55am UPDATE: Limited parking at Odd Down park and ride because of ice.

10.24am UPDATE: A broken down vehicle has blocked one lane of the M4 motorway eastbound between Bath and Bristol. Buses getting back to normal, with some problems Bathampton, Fairfield Park and Larkhall.

10.00am UPDATE: A number of trains running through Bath Spa Station hit by delays.

9.45am UPDATE: More snow on the way. BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson ‏@fergieweather tweeted: "Tues has potential to bring 5-10cm over uncertain area *broadly* encompassing E Devon; Som; N Dorset; Bristol/B&NES; Glos; W Wilts."

9.30am UPDATE: All libraries across Bath and North East Somerset open as normal today.

9.10am UPDATE: Queueing traffic heavier than usual on the A4 London Road West in Batheaston at the A46 junction.

8.30am UPDATE: B&NES Council said crews will attempt to collect waste and recycling "where safe to do so" today.

8.20am UPDATE: Reports on twitter of huge tailbacks at the A46 roundabout at Marshfield. @spudbryant tweeted: "Huge tailbacks a46 Marshfield roundabout towards Tog hill. Fog and ice suspected as issue . A420 affected too."

One lane is closed on th M4 Second Severn Crossing this morning. Hazardous driving conditions have been reported and one lane westbound has been shut.

Charlotte Street car park in Bath is closed because of ice.

7.44am UPDATE: The vast majority of schools in the Bath area were reopening today as life returned to normal following last Friday’s snow.

But children may find themselves negotiating slippery pavements, with many residential streets still covered in ice.

The big freeze is expected to continue throughout the week, with the possibility of more snow tomorrow.

Only the Link School at Odd Down has so far declared itself fully closed today, after suffering boiler problems.

Others such as Bathwick St Mary and Chew Stoke have appealed to parents to help clear playgrounds and other communal areas, with Batheaston School thanking its supporters who have already done this.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it was very much "business as usual" today.

It said: "Overnight temperatures on the roads were very cold last night and there is a danger of black ice on untreated roads. Road temperatures are below freezing now and likely to stay below until at least mid-day today. Snow did not fall overnight although the forecasters suggest further flurries could arrive later this evening. Even air temperatures will struggle to get above freezing before Monday lunchtime.

"There were no incidents during the night and a 5am inspection has indicated no problems on the network. "At the moment traffic is flowing normally for a Monday with no problems and no road closures. It is business as usual."

But it added: With these freezing temperatures, drivers should stick to the main roads and bus routes and avoid untreated side roads. Footpaths and roads will remain very icy and drivers should take extra care at all times but especially when passing cyclists and other road users."

Gritters were out last night in B&NES, and crews also treated Avon Street, Charlotte Street and Keynsham car parks, along with the city’s park and ride sites.

B&NES said it was aware that some of its 400 roadside community grit bins may be running low and would be endeavouring to refill these today.

Meanwhile, health and social services boss Janet Rowse has paid tribute to staff and the community for their response to the bad weather.

Ms Rowse, chief executive of Sirona Care and Health, which provides community services across the district, said there had been a fantastic response from staff and the public across the weekend.

“Drivers from the Red Cross and from the Bath Emergency Medical Team came forward to help bring in staff to our community hospitals, to our residential care homes and to take some of our district nurses to visits in some of the more remote areas,” she said.

“As a result, all urgent and essential care and treatment has been delivered. Many of our district nurses completed their journeys on foot and one was taken to her call by the AA patrolman who responded when her 4 x 4 broke down.

“It has felt like the whole community has been pulling together and as a result all our normal weekend services have been kept running . Ensuring our service users have stayed safe has been our main priority and to have the help of so many has been heart-warming and reassuring.

“We had a volunteer come and clear the snow at Paulton Hospital so our staff and our visitors could move around safely and one of our senior managers left her family to go and cook Sunday lunch for tenants in one of our extra care schemes. I would like to publicly thank everyone for their support.”

Based on the current weather forecast, outpatient clinics are expected to run as normal today.

If anyone is worried about getting to their appointment then they should ring the number on their appointment letter this morning and staff will rebook their appointment for another time. The main hospital numbers are St Martin’s Hospital – 01225 832383, Paulton Memorial Hospital – 01761 412315 and Keynsham Health Centre – 0117 461000.

Bus firm First is still running restricted services on most of its routes in Bath, although all park and ride buses are operating normally.

Check at www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/travel_news/service_updates/

Information on school closures is at.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures.

The quickest and most direct way of alerting B&NES to problems - including empty grit bins - is via Twitter: @ccbathnes, the website www.bathnes.gov.uk/reportit, texting 07797806545, emailing councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk or ringing 01225 39 40 41.

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  • joejohn  |  January 21 2013, 9:56AM


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