HEAVY snow is causing travel problems and school's to close across the Uttoxeter area today.
Thomas Alleyne's High School in Uttoxeter has closed its doors because of the weather, while a host of other school's across the area are sending children home early as conditions are expected to worsen.
School's closing early include Windsor Park Middle School in Uttoxeter, St Mary's First School in Uttoxeter, Ryecroft Middle School in Rocester, All Saints First School in Denstone, Talbot First School in Kingstone, All Saints First School in Church Leigh, St Peter's First School in Alton, St Thomas Catholic Primary School in Tean, Great Wood Primary School in Tean, St Augustine's First School in Draycott-in-the-Clay, The Richard Clarke First School in Abbots Bromley, Henry Prince First School in Mayfield, Needwood Primary School in Newborough, Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle, Norbury Primary School, Green Lea First School in Milwich, St Peter's CE Primary School in Hixon and Hixon Children's Centre.
Meanwhile, traffic is reported to be slow on all major routes around Uttoxeter with numerous minor collisions and there have also been major problems with the buses in Uttoxeter.
A spokesman for bus company Arriva said the 428 service from Uttoxeter to Lichfield is being diverted on the following sections:-
• George Elliott Close - Vehicle unable to serve due to having to do a 3 point turn at the nursing home (Highwood Court) which drivers have advised is very dangerous due to the weather conditions. Vehicle will stay on the main road (Kingfisher Way) meaning it will miss Leighton Road and George Elliott Close.
• Westlands Road - Driver advises snow is causing severe problems which is not helped by park vehicles so for safety concerns, have advised drivers to use Kingfisher Way and then Stafford Road, so as to avoid Westlands Road
• Dapple Heath / The Blythe - Advised that roads are very poor in these 2 areas so the service will call in to Kingstone (majority of passengers board/alight) and turn back round, back to the B5013 towards Abbotts Bromley and continue its run, thus missing Dapple Heath and The Blythe.
The spokesman said: "Our 841 Service from Uttoxeter to Stafford is unable to serve the village of Bramshall, partly due to the poor weather and partly due to a car being stuck in the hedge.
"Our service 4 in Uttoxeter (Town Circular) is currently struggling to serve all roads and is taking roughly an hour per trip, compared to the normal time of 30 minutes. There is a possibility that this service may have to revert to the old town circular route which would mean missing some roads but for the meantime, I have asked the driver and vehicle to continue on the normal route."
All outdoor leisure facilities and football pitches run by East Staffordshire Borough Council have also been closed, including Bramshall Park next to Uttoxeter Leisure Centre.
Rocester FC's big FA Vase game against Runcorn Town due to be played tomorrow has also been postponed until Saturday, January 26.
The Met Office is forecasting a further two inches of snow to fall across most parts of the county – and up to four inches in the Staffordshire Moorlands – by 9pm tonight.
Staffordshire County Council’s gritting crews will be gritting priority routes, but with sub-zero temperatures over the weekend the council warns that the snow is here to stay until next week.
Mike Maryon, Staffordshire County Council’s highways leader, said 43 per cent of the 6,000km road network was being repeatedly gritted.
He said: “Our highways crews have done a tremendous job gritting and clearing snow from the roads day and night.
“Often people think their road has not been gritted because the snow is still there. In fact, the grit just helps prevent snow sticking to the surface and makes our on-going gritting of routes even more effective.
“But with freezing temperatures over the next few days the snow is here to stay for a while and motorists still need to be extra careful on the roads until early next week.”
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