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Snow death toll his double figures

The death toll during the recent cold snap has hit double figures - as forecasters predicted up to another foot of snow is on the way.

The latest victim was a 42-year-old man who died after his car careered into a river as he was driving his daughter on the school run along a bridle path near the Monsal Trail, north of the A6 in Derbyshire.

Other casualties of the cold spell include postman John Bircham, 57, who collapsed soon after he was towed out of a snowdrift in Dulverton, Somerset, on Saturday, and Bernadette Lee, 25, who was found collapsed in the snow in Deal, Kent, on Sunday following a night out.

Although the end of the cold weather is in sight as temperatures are expected to rise at the weekend, a further dumping of snow is expected on Friday, bringing with it fears of further travel disruption.

The Highlands of Scotland will see the heaviest snowfall with up to a foot, while up to six inches could fall in northern England, four inches in the Midlands and up to two inches in the South.

The Met Office said it has amber warnings in place for much of Scotland, the north of England, east of England and East and West Midlands, with yellow warnings in Wales, south west England and London and the South East.

It warned that strong winds will also lead to drifting and blizzard-like conditions, particularly over higher level roads in the north.

The AA said it was gearing up for a busy day on Friday. As of 2pm on Thursday, it had received 9,000 call-outs, including 80 cars stuck in snow. The busiest areas for breakdowns were London, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sheffield and the Home Counties.

Steve Crosthwaite, of the Highways Agency, said: "With another flurry of snow expected, we ask people to remain alert and continue to take care when travelling. As always, we ask people to give our winter fleet the space they need to do their job and, during periods of particularly severe weather, to consider delaying their journeys until conditions improve."

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has warned of the risk of minor localised flooding in some areas due to the rapid thaw. Flood risk manager Phil Rothwell said: "A combination of rain and snowmelt over the weekend will increase the risk of flooding, especially in south west England, Wales, the West Midlands and northern England."


From Belfast Telegraph