Page last updated at 17:24 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Severe frost warning to drivers

The train line at Malvern (pic by Stewart Cole)
Police urged people to leave their cars at home where possible

Drivers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been warned of more icy conditions as sub-zero temperatures continue to grip the region.

A severe frost was predicted overnight on Thursday.

More than 150 schools in Worcestershire were closed on Thursday and only three state schools in Herefordshire opened.

The Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia warned braking when the road was wet, icy or covered in snow takes up to 10 times longer than on a dry road.

Priority routes in both counties were being gritted, but many minor roads have been left untreated.

Snow forecast

Temperatures were predicted to reach a minimum of -6C (21F) overnight on Thursday.

Any early snow showers are expected to clear through Friday morning to a leave a fine and dry day with good sunny spells, the Met Office said.

But further snow showers would spread across the region from the east during Friday evening and it would remain very cold, it added.

Herefordshire Council has said school transport services and refuse collections had been cancelled until further notice.

Blocked roads

Drivers were being urged to keep off the roads because of to widespread ice across the region after temperatures plummeted overnight on Wednesday.

Temperatures of -14C (7F) were recorded at a weather station in Pershore, Worcestershire.

Police said abandoned and crashed vehicles had blocked roads and hampered access.

The Red Cross was called in to use 4X4 vehicles to take emergency patients to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester, and the Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, after ambulances struggled to get through the icy conditions.

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