Snow: Schools close in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and 'do not travel' plea issued

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image copyrightBBC Weather Watchers
image captionBBC Weather Watcher DJ caught a shot of a sunny but icy Bedford on Monday

A council issued "do not travel" advice and cancelled its transport services for day centres and children of key workers due to the icy weather.

Bedford Borough Council said it was due to "freezing conditions affecting the safety of local roads".

The authority advised drivers not to travel on Monday morning unless it was "absolutely vital".

Some schools were shut in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and the A1 blocked due to a crash.

Under current national restrictions, only children of critical workers, vulnerable children and young people are able to attend school.

The conditions were having an impact across the counties:

  • Some 60 schools in Central Bedfordshire, eight in Bedford Borough, 74 in Buckinghamshire and three in Milton Keynes said they were closed on Monday
  • In Hertfordshire, there was no information on the county council website, but parents and carers are informed directly about any closures
  • The A1(M) in Hertfordshire was shut southbound between junction six for Welwyn and junction four for Hatfield after one vehicle crashed
  • Hertfordshire Police said driving conditions in the county on Monday were "hazardous and icy" and you should only travel if it was "absolutely essential"
  • The Luton and Dunstable Busway is closed and Luton Borough Council tweeted that is hoped to reopen it as soon as possible
  • Yellow weather warnings for ice - meaning icy patches are likely to cause travel disruption, slips and falls - are in place until 11:00 GMT across the East of England
  • Bin collections have been postponed in Bedford until Tuesday
image captionA three-tier snowman was built in Grove Park in Dunstable, just outside the Grove Theatre and BBC Three Counties offices
image copyrightHead in the clouds
image captionA cyclist on a very icy path was snapped by BBC Weather Watcher "Head in the clouds" on Monday

Bedford Council said it had been gritting priority routes on Sunday, and would continue to do so on Monday, but road surface temperatures had been due to fall to -6C (21F) overnight and not rise above freezing until after 10:00 GMT.

It added that due to the national lockdown, "gritting is likely to be less effective than normal" as there were fewer vehicles available.

image copyrightEmma Maeve
image captionA snowy Markyate in Hertfordshire has been captured by BBC Weather Watcher Emma Maeve
image copyrightRobert Thompson
image captionHertfordshire saw heavy snow falls on Sunday including Oaklands, near Welwyn

Councillor Charles Royden, who is responsible for transport and the environment, said: "In these unique circumstances... advice to motorists has to be that we expect the roads to be extremely challenging [on Monday] morning and that they should delay their journeys until later in the day if at all possible."

The A1(M) in Hertfordshire was shut southbound between junction six for Welwyn and junction four for Hatfield after one vehicle crashed at about 04:00, police said.

A man was taken to hospital and police said the road was "likely to be shut for sometime" for the investigation.

image copyrightSouth Beds News Agency
image captionFamilies exercised by building snowmen in Hertfordshire on Sunday
image copyrightRorythedog
image captionBBC Weather Watcher Rorythedog photographed a snowy landscape as the sun rose over Brill in Buckinghamshire

On Sunday, Luton Council said some Covid test centres in Luton were shut due to the wintry conditions, while Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service cleared snow from outside two vaccination centres in Wycombe, so they could stay open.

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People in Seer Green in Buckinghamshire were called on to rescue an ambulance that was stuck in thick snow at the bottom of Orchard Road.

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