Oxford

Oxfordshire travel improving amid snow and ice

Conditions improved on Oxfordshire's roads on Tuesday following heavy snow fall and icy conditions.

Further snow flurries were expected across the county but gritters kept the main routes clear.

Stagecoach and the Oxford Bus Company both ran revised timetables across their bus networks on Tuesday.

South Central Ambulance Service said last weekend was its busiest period of the year with a big rise in call-outs.

It deployed its fleet of 4x4 vehicles and its vehicles were kitted out with special "snow shoes", which give better traction on snow and ice.

Many rail services into and out of London remained severely disrupted on Tuesday.

Thames Water reported a four-fold increase in calls from customers about burst pipes.

On Sunday, the firm received 2,800 calls - 2,550 of them about water freezing in pipes.

Jerry White, Thames Water' s head of operational control, said: "If the water supply pipe into your property is not insulated, we advise lagging it with a towel or a pipe insulator from a plumbing supplier as soon as possible.

"Key pointers for thawing frozen household pipes include using a hairdryer - not a blow torch - to gradually warm them up.

"Similarly, leave your loft hatch ajar to allow warm air from below to circulate in the attic so pipes don't freeze."

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