POLICE and paramedics were called to a number of ice-related smashes over the weekend, as dangerous driving conditions caused road chaos.

Despite a milder weekend, the weather is expected to turn much colder from tomorrow, with gales, showers and potentially more snow.

Inspector Bob Eaton said: “People need to be extremely careful on the roads, particularly in rural areas.

“We have had a number of accidents in East Lancashire this weekend due to the icy conditions.

“People need to take note of the temperatures and watch their speed.”

On Saturday, icy roads caused a five-car smash on the A666 Bolton Road at Darwen.

The road was closed both ways shortly after 7am due to the accident between the B6472 Darwen Road, and the B6391 Greens Arms Road.

One car was on its side, one was in a fence and another was in the middle of the road.

Insp Eaton said: “One female was taken to hospital complaining of chest injuries from the impact with the steering wheel.

“Five vehicles including a Ford Fiesta, Toyota van and Vauxhall Zafira – were recovered from the scene.”

Motorists also faced tailbacks on Saturday following a crash on the A56 near Haslingden.

Ice caused a Transit van to slide sideways into a car on the bypass at around 7.50am.

The driver of the van, in his 50s, and the driver of the other car were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The A56 heading towards Rossendale was closed and drivers queued back to the M66 in Ramsbottom.

Meanwhile, firefighters from Darwen were called to Sudellside Street after reports of people trapped in a two-car collision caused by ice at around 11.45am on Saturday morning, but their help was not needed.

Tony Waters, Met Office forecaster, had bad news for motorists this week.

He said: “After a brief milder spell this weekend, we are expecting the coldest spell of the winter so far to develop across the UK next week.

“Coastal counties can expect to see the most frequent snow showers, but a few will probably spread further inland to central parts as the week goes on.

“With temperatures falling well below freezing at night, lying snow and the formation of ice could lead to some treacherous conditions and possible disruption to travel.”