Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Road warnings over salt shortage

Traffic on the Worcester to Pershore Road after heavy snow in Worcestershire
Many roads in the two counties were reported to be icy

Motorists are being urged to take extra care on untreated roads in Worcestershire after the Met Office issued a severe ice warning.

Worcestershire County Council said it was not possible to grit every road because of the national salt shortage.

All council-run schools in Worcestershire were closed and about 42 schools were shut in Herefordshire.

Both councils advised parents to check their websites for school closures on Friday.

Snow forecast

Many private schools across Worcestershire were closed after up to 8in (20cm) of snow fell in parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire overnight.

Headteachers in Worcestershire were told it would be left up to their discretion to decide whether or not to open their schools on Friday.

Malvern District Council cancelled its budget consultation meeting on Thursday and snow and ice caused heavy delays on the the M5 and M50 motorways.

More snow is forecast for the region and Worcestershire County Council said waste collection services would be suspended on Friday.

Waste collection

Worcester City Council said it would attempt to make waste collections on Friday.

It asked people to leave their black bins in a "prominent position" and said people whose bins were normally collected on Friday would now have their waste collected on Saturday, weather permitting.

It said it had been unable to collect the bins on Thursday because of hazardous driving conditions.

Many roads in the area were reported to be icy and in Tenbury Wells, a lorry carrying chickens collided with a car at the junction of the A446 and A443 at Newnham Bridge.

Woman cut free

A man managed to free himself from the car, but fire crews had to cut a woman free. It was not known if they were injured.

A sign outside Norton Juxta Kempsey First School in Worcestershire

The collection service for patients with non-urgent appointments at the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Royal Hospitals was cancelled.

However, those requiring treatment on Thursday were expected to be collected as normal.

Herefordshire County Council said primary and secondary roads had been gritted and they were doing all they could to "keep the county moving" under difficult conditions.

But it warned that "many side roads" were still "potentially dangerous to drive down" and West Mercia Police urged drivers to avoid all unnecessary journeys.

The council said it had enough road salt at present, but said it was managing its stock levels carefully.

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