OXFORDSHIRE was blanketed in a thick sheet of snow yesterday causing widespread disruption to roads, schools and businesses across the county.

Heavy flurries overnight on Thursday meant dozens of schools across the county were forced to close, while many bus services were reduced or cancelled.

Central and Southern Oxfordshire were worst hit by the snow with the Met Office issuing an amber 'threat to life' weather warning from early to late Friday morning.

The alert saw county council staff working through the night to make sure major routes remained as clear as possible.

Read again: Have a look through our live blog of the snow as it happened.

A county council spokesman said: “The gritters were out four times overnight and in to Friday morning. Snowploughs were fitted once the snow began to come down.

"Each gritting run covers 1,200 mile of Oxfordshire road, which is the equivalent of London to Iceland.

"We’re sending them out again at 7pm tonight – there’s no more snow forecast but temperatures are due to drop again.

"Undoubtedly the south-eastern corner of Oxfordshire, including our area of the Chilterns, was the most challenging part of the county to deal with in terms of the quantity of snow.”

Temperatures are expected to remain around freezing today with a yellow Met Office weather warning for ice in place this morning.

The extreme weather has also seen Oxford City Council open up bed spaces for the homeless in the city over the weekend.

Also in the news: Homeless deaths in Oxford a 'stark reality'

With the freezing conditions expected to continue the council has extend its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) until Monday.

Deputy leader of the council and board member for Leisure and Housing, Linda Smith, said: "The temperature forecast remains low even though it is expected to go above freezing on Sunday night.

"This means we’re using our discretion to keep SWEP beds open all weekend.

She added: "We can only run SWEP because staff from Homeless Oxfordshire, A2Dominion and Aspire Oxford step up to do shifts on top of their day jobs, and I’m very grateful for their efforts in helping keep rough sleepers safe and warm during this prolonged spell of freezing weather."

Rough sleepers who want to access an emergency bed must present themselves at Homeless Oxfordshire’s O’Hanlon House between 9 pm and 9:30 pm every night that SWEP is open.