Snow's over but cold snap is here to stay

Banbury Cake: Alan Hutt, a road worker at Drayton Highways Depot, gets a gritter lorry ready for the night shift on Oxfordshire’s roads last night Alan Hutt, a road worker at Drayton Highways Depot, gets a gritter lorry ready for the night shift on Oxfordshire’s roads last night

A COLD snap that has swept into Oxfordshire is set to continue, forecasters warned last night.

Temperatures could plummet to -6C tomorrow, with daily temperatures of up to only 4C in the county.

Met Office forecaster Charles Powell said the 2cm of snow that fell yesterday should be the last flurry Oxfordshire sees this week.

Mr Powell said: “The major snow risk at this stage has probably passed. We are looking at generally dry conditions for the next few days but very cold, icy and frosty.”

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Owen Morton said gritters would be out and about as the icy conditions continue.

He said: “Our gritters are sent out whenever conditions demand. Decisions are taken on a daily basis, taking account of up-to-the-minute forecasts and road surface temperatures.

“While we are forecast to be heading for a cold snap, the last two or three weeks were above average temperature for this time of year which meant that until this weekend, the gritters had only been out once in Oxfordshire since December 17.

“As such we currently have no concerns about salt stock levels, and despite some previous cold winters (2009/10 and 2010/11) the council has never run out of salt.”

Up to 30 gritters can be out on the county’s roads at any one time and they can be fitted with snow ploughs if there is heavy snow.

Mr Morton added: “We routinely grit 43 per cent of the county’s road network, which is more than many other local authorities and includes all A-roads and many B-roads.”

The freezing temperatures have postponed resurfacing work on Oxford’s eastern bypass that was due to start yesterday.

The project was due to go ahead for six nights from 10pm to 6am, but the county council’s deputy leader Rodney Rose said the forecast sub-zero temperatures would affect how the material set.

Chilly scenes of the snow that covered the county on Monday were snapped by Oxford Mail readers.

Witney mum Emma Clay said her sons Jack Clay, six, and Harry, one, were both excited and intrigued to see the snow.

She said: “We left for school early so Jack could have a little play in it as we walked.

“My one-year-old was staring at it – he didn’t know what to make of it.”

Following last weekend’s snow forecast, Oxford outdoor shop Go Outdoors, at Redbridge, said sales of sledges and snow shovel increased.

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