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Another day of danger on Warminster roads

(February 03, 2009)
AN early evening accident at Picket Post near Warminster due to sheet ice was just the tip of the iceberg as scores of roads were made impassable by the Arctic conditions after a day of contrasts.
In Warminster well over 1,000 schoolchildren enjoyed a day away from the classroom as school's like St. John's and Kingdown kept their doors shut while in contrast the Avenue school kept going.
"I left it until the last minute to get the children into their uniforms as I waited for news," said mum Jane. "They left it late, half past eight, to let us know St. Johns school would not open."
There was a contrast in the weather as mid morning glorious sunshine threatened to melt the numerous snowmen that had been built across the town by the children who also used every slope they could find to slide down.
Then, in a repeat of scenes yesterday the late afternoon deluge started again and quickly pitched on the road surfaces causing great problems on the many hills and slopes in the town.
At 5pm Weymouth Street was the scene of motorists wheel-spinning to a halt and attempting to do a three point turn ending up stuck broadside across the carriageway.
"Berks!" said one taxi driver summing up their driving. It was not long (5.45pm) before once again the largest fleet of taxis was parked up.
After three minor prangs the day before Starline Taxis were not taking any risks.
Another repeat problem with Pertwood along the A350 saw an early closure of that important route and as the evening went on and blizzards struck the A303 several sections were closed.
"I was trying to get home to Basingstoke but I will have to stay with my sister again," said one motorist.
As the night went on police were attending more and more locations within 25 miles of Warminster where anything up to 15 HGVs were stuck in the winter conditions.
Nationally, small business leaders say that each day is costing over a billion pounds as workers fail to get to work and shoppers will not venture out relying on what they have in their cupboards.
Locally, there was a silver lining to the snow clouds. A local tyre and exhaust were kept busy by drivers who had hit kerbs and worse after losing control on the ice and snow.
In London the public transport bosses may like to take a look in the direction of Warminster, Bath and Salisbury where a steady stream of half hourly buses kept running albeit with almost no passengers.
Even the bus service that does a figure of eight route around the estates kept going.
It appears that the unofficial mid-term break for pupils at the largest school in Warminster may be short-lived. local radio was broadcasting to parents telling them that Kingdown would be open tomorrow (Wednesday).

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