More snow and ice on its way to Bristol this week
MORE bad weather is heading for Bristol this week with further snow forecast and freezing temperatures causing perilous icy conditions.
The cold spell has set in and is expected to continue for days with more snow expected tomorrow.
Ice clings to many of the city's minor roads and pavements with hilly areas treacherous for drivers, following Friday's significant snowfall and cold conditions all weekend.
The Met Office issued a yellow ice warning for today and tomorrow, as temperatures continue to stay around or below 0°C during the day, plunging further after dark.
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Forecaster Helen Chivers told The Post the severity of forecast was still "somewhat uncertain".
"People should be aware of the risk of further snow, not only for Tuesday but also later in the week," she said.
"The main risk people need to be aware of though continues to be ice.
"During the day temperatures are not getting much above 0°C and at night some more rural places near Bristol may see dips as low as -7°C."
Although Bristol's main roads are currently mostly clear of snow, back streets, hilly areas and pavements continue to be covered in ice which has not melted because of the cold temperatures.
There are concerns that fresh snow could repeat the chaos of Friday, when about 10cm of snow brought the city close to a halt.
Most schools in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and B&NES council areas closed, although some secondary schools were open for morning exams.
Nine primary schools in South Gloucestershire and 27 in Bristol remained open along with Rosemary Early Years Centre in St Jude's.
Bus services were suspended and about 30 flights were cancelled at Bristol Airport.
Although the various councils had gritters out on primary routes in the early hours before the snow, a lot of roads were dangerous, with reports of drivers abandoning cars on Bridge Valley Road in Clifton and on the A420 through St George.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service were called to Church Road in Leigh Woods at 5.45pm yesterday to winch three vehicles to safety after they got into difficulty on the icy road.
There was also disruption on the rail network with many cancellations, and delays of 30 minutes reported on services between Gloucester and Bristol Parkway due to a signalling problem.
There were hold-ups of up to 45 minutes on the line between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Temple Meads due to the snow, while a reduced service ran between London Paddington and Cardiff.
The freeze claimed Bristol Rovers' and Bristol Rugby's home fixtures over the weekend along with local league football matches, while the entire Bristol Acoustic Music Festival at St George's was called off.
The Highways Agency reopened the westbound carriageway of the M48 Severn River Crossing at 4.10pm yesterday, after compacted snow was finally cleared from the bridge deck.
The eastbound carriageway had been reopened earlier in the day. And a 40mph speed restriction remained in place.
Most council services were expected to be running as normal today, although Bristol City Council has closed all adult day centres "for safety reasons".
Mayor George Ferguson paid tribute to the council's 58 snow wardens, who were provided with grit, high visibility vests and snow shovels, as he made a visit to Stanley Hill in Totterdown on Saturday.
He said: "Our band of volunteer snow wardens, who come from all walks of life, are amongst the city's hero citizens.
"They have volunteered for a very tough job in the coldest weather and they have certainly risen to the challenge this weekend.
"Stanley Hill is a great example of what can be achieved when enthusiastic and determined local volunteers take on the worst of the winter weather with a sturdy shovel and a sense of humour.
"We need to encourage an attitude right across the city of helping each other and our communities in emergencies rather than a continual reliance on 'them doing it for us'."
Mr Ferguson told The Post he was looking at how the US and Canada dealt with snow, where in some states there were laws that all property owners who were able must clear snow and ice from pavements near their homes.
Meanwhile, Mr Ferguson got into a spat on social networking website Twitter with Councillor Tim Kent, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the city council. Mr Kent criticised Mr Ferguson for not ordering extra "grit dumps" – where extra grit is piled on pavements.
He argued that not providing the grit cost millions of pounds in lost business as people could not get to work, while Mr Ferguson replied that it would have cost an extra £20,000 and had not been necessary.
Many people enjoyed Friday's snow, with the shouts and screams of children sledding and building snowmen in the city's parks a common sound for people who stepped outside.
Some school staff also went the extra mile to help students get to exams. Learning support assistant Karen Brooks, who works at St Mary Redcliffe School, borrowed a 4x4 to pick up two Year 13 students with medical conditions that would prevent them from walking in.
Head teacher Elisabeth Gilpin said: "I was really impressed with the initiative shown by Karen. There is so much dedication among staff and their commitment to the students, this is a good example of that."