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Chaos across county as more severe weather hits
SNOW, ice and floods caused extreme driving conditions for motorists in Oxfordshire yesterday.
The severe weather was blamed for a string of crashes, jackknifed lorries and worsening potholes.
And last night forecasters warned the cold snap was not over yet.
The worst delays were caused by two lorries which crashed on the A34 at the Peartree Interchange at 2.30am.
The northbound carriageway was closed until 8am while the wreckage was cleared.
The A4260 Oxford Road in Kidlington was also closed in both directions when a lorry jackknifed on the Sainsbury’s roundabout at Frieze Way and Bicester Road.
It closed at 4.30am but the problem was cleared by mid-morning.
One lane of the M40 was closed for a short time in the morning for emergency pothole repairs. Work was carried out on the southbound carriageway between junction seven for Thame and junction six for Watlington.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said the temporary repairs were complete within 30 minutes.
On the buses, Stagecoach had to adjust several of its morning services due to snow.
Buses serving Charlbury, Stonesfield, Fawler, Combe, New Yatt and Duns Tew were all affected.
As the snow turned to slush and rain, ten of Oxfordshire’s waterways were on flood alert last night.
While the River Thames is rising the Environment Agency was not anticipating major concerns this week.
Spokeswoman Hayley Willoughby said: “We are expecting a bit more rain but it will be minimal. We will continue monitoring the Thames as it responds.”
Meanwhile, motorists driving through Farmoor faced five inch deep floodwater on Oxford Road.
Steve Harrison, owner of Botley Windscreens in Cumnor Road, Farmoor, said: “It was passable, you just had to give way to other traffic and not drive straight through.
“Traffic was absolutely fine – it was not backing up.”
Weather forecasters predicted further light snow flurries today before a thaw on Thursday.
Sarah Holland, spokeswoman for the Met Office, said 1cm of snow had fallen overnight in Oxford but up to seven centimetres in Little Rissington, on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border.
She said: “It is quite a short, sharp spell.
“You could potentially see some really light snow today but nothing of any real significance.
“However, it will remain very cold with temperatures struggling to get much above freezing.”
No more than a centimetre of really light snow is expected to fall this morning.
From the late morning it will mainly be dry and cloudy, but temperatures will remain around freezing.
It is a similar picture tomorrow when the risk of ice remains.
But Thursday should bring noticeable change to the weather with temperatures reaching 8C to 9C.
Marcus Mabberley, spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, said bad weather created potholes but he was unable to say if there were more than usual in Oxfordshire.
He added: “Cold and wet weather does obviously have an effect on roads. We carry out regular routine inspections of the roads we are responsible for.
“We would encourage the public to report any potholes they come across in the county to us.”
To report a pothole, call 0845 3101111.