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Drivers warned over icy conditions

The cold snap may have come to an end on Sunday - but emergency services continue to warn of the dangers of icy conditions.

Temperatures were well above freezing, with highs of up to 8C (46.4F) expected in south-west England.

But police in East Anglia advised motorists to take care after rain and snow led to dozens of crashes, while firefighters praised two dog owners for not risking their lives after their pets fell through ice and drowned.

Brendan Jones, forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: "The cold spell is on its way out but it's still pretty chilly. It's coldest in the east and south-east of the UK, especially in England but temperatures are a good deal higher than they were. Most places in the UK are at least 3C (37.4F).

"Right in the south-east corner of England is coldest because it's closest to the continent where the cold air is sitting. In some places in Kent it's not getting above 1C."

Essex Police earlier advised people to stay off the roads after 50 minor collisions were reported between midnight and 9am on Sunday. Cambridgeshire Police said it was called to 20-30 collisions on Sunday morning. Cambridgeshire Police said the victim of a fatal crash at Stow cum Quy on the A14 was an eight-year-old boy. A spokesman said the collision involved just one car, a maroon Mazda2, which left the road and collided with a tree.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for ice in northern England, Yorkshire and the East Midlands. It said that "extra care will be needed" by motorists as ice is likely to form on roads left wet from either rain or melting snow.

Mr Jones said: "Even though we're technically coming out of the cold spell we're predicting minimum temperatures of 0 or 1C (32 or 33.8F) across southern and eastern areas.

"The ground is still very cold. It doesn't take very much to get frost overnight even if the air temperatures are relatively warm. Parts of England are at risk of frost or ice patches."

But we can expect milder weather by the middle of the week. "By Tuesday or Wednesday we could get highs of 9 or 10C (48.2 or 50F) across large parts of the country," he said. "Through the first half of the week there will be a lot of cloud and patchy rain but at least it's turning milder."


From Belfast Telegraph