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Heavy snowfall caused disruptions in Droitwich
5:00pm Monday 21st January 2013 in News
HITCHING A RIDE: Ronnie Moore having some fun with his three-year-old granddaughter Millie on her sledge at Lido Park, Droitwich.
HEAVY snowfall caused major disruption for residents and motorists in and around Droitwich Spa this weekend.
Severe weather hit the town on Friday, January 18 and continued over the weekend and early this week.
The majority of schools in Droitwich were forced to close or partially close on Friday so that pupils could return home safely.
Snow showers and icy conditions also cause havoc for motorists in the region and people using buses to get around.
Gritting teams from Worcestershire County Council worked around the clock over the weekend to clear some of the main routes through the town.
Crews treated designated roads with salt and also ploughed some streets roads in the Spa.
Wychavon District Council was forced to cancel waste and recycling collections on Friday, January 18 due to the weather troubles. Driving conditions proved too dangerous for the collections to take place.
Residents were told that crews were unable to catch up with bins still to be collected and that they should be put out for the next collection in two weeks’ time.
Ambulance crews were also kept extremely busy as the snowfall and icy conditions arrived.
Compared to a normal Friday, West Midlands Ambulance Service saw a 19 per cent increase in incidents.
Craig Cooke, WMAS assistant chief ambulance officer, said: "Initial reports suggest the heavy snowfall has increased 999 demands across the West Midlands.
“The number of patients suffering slips, trips and falls increased. However, I am pleased to say that our crews have coped extremely well with the elements and continue to get to patients as quickly as possible.
“I am also thankful to the public who adhered to the weather warnings and the public safety advice.”
The snow failed to stop Worcestershire County Council's dedicated social care staff from providing their usual service for some of the county's most vulnerable residents.
With the support of the council's transport staff and the 4x4 response team, staff were still able to provide the essential care, which includes home-based care and care within the county's residential homes.
On Friday, January 18, a well-planned gritting operation as well as regular updates on the council's website on latest road conditions enabled social care workers to still make these essential visits.
Many staff walked into work or to their calls as well as taking advantage of the 4x4 vehicles that were available so they could get to people living in more rural areas.
They also ensured this response could continue into the weekend and Monday morning.
Day care services had to be cancelled as it was agreed that people were safer to stay at home, where possible.
Councillor Philip Gretton, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member for adult social care, said: "This was some of the worst snow we have seen for many years and our staff are truly remarkable to keep on providing these essential services in such demanding conditions.”
However, it was not all about dangerous driving conditions and cancelled bin collections.
Many youngsters and their families could be seen enjoying the snow in Lido Park and Vines Park throughout the weekend.