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Snow chaos strikes again in East Lancashire
AN AMBULANCE crashed into a stone wall as snow and sub-zero temperatures hit East Lancashire yesterday.
The vehicle, which was travelling towards Blackburn on the Grane Road near Belthorn, was not responding to an emergency.
The collision, at around 3pm, was described as a 'slow slide, slow impact' incident by the North West Ambulance service.
In a separate incident, Grane Road was blocked and dozens of cars stranded for about 90 minutes after a 244 service Rawtenstall bus became stuck in snow just yards away from where the ambulance crashed.
The road was re-opened at about 4.30pm.
Gusts of wind reached more than 50mph at times and the Meteorological Office reported the wind-chill element meant temperatures outside felt more like -7 degrees centigrade.
Snow arrived earlier than forecast throughout the area with the downfall becoming heavier after lunchtime.
The snow cover at lower levels is expected to be temporary as the temperature is forecast to rise today.
Forecasters said the snow was likely to turn into rain later in the week with the wind calming by Saturday.
Driving conditions were described as 'hazardous but mainly passable' yesterday afternoon with journey times, particularly in Rossendale increased as the snow stuck on major routes.
Rossendale Bus reported disruption yesterday with six drivers in the Edgeside, Ramsbottom and Todmorden areas omitting side streets on their routes from early afternoon.
Bus company Transdev reported some problems, with its number nine Burnley to Accrington service operating a modified route. The company said yesterday that it was 'not able to serve Network 65 due to icy road conditions' at around 11.15am. Later services bypassed the industrial park.
No school closures were made although some primary schools, including Belthorn Primary, sent children home early.
Amateur weatherman Roy Chetham, who monitors the conditions from his home in Huncoat, has reported colder temperatures, by on average more than a degree, in November, December and January, than the equivalent period in 2011/12.
Of January’s weather, he said: “There were 13 ground frosts, 14 air frosts and one day with hail. It snowed on seven days with snow lying on 10 days.
“The maximum depth of level snow cover was 8cm on Saturday, January 26.
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