OXFORDSHIRE was spared the worst of the snow yesterday but plummeting temperatures are expected today.
One of the coldest nights of the winter so far is forecast as daytime temperatures of 1C plummet to -5C in urban areas and about -9C in rural parts of the county.
But the end of the cold snap is in sight as the last significant amounts of snow fell yesterday.
Met Office forecaster Dan Williams said further light snow flurries could hit Oxfordshire tomorrow but any snow would quickly turn to rain.
He said: “It is getting milder at the weekend so this is the end of the period of cold weather – but that doesn’t rule out another period of cold weather.
“We have still a while to go in winter – we have got the whole of February.”
Tomorrow, daytime temperatures will be about 2C and overnight it is expected to be just above freezing.
Milder weather with temperatures of up to 6C are forecast for Saturday, with widespread rain quickly thawing remaining snow.
AA spokesman Gavin Hill-Smith said road recovery teams had been attending about 150 breakdowns in Oxfordshire, compared to about 100 on a normal day.
A total of eight schools in Oxfordshire closed yesterday because of snow or heating failure, and Oxfordshire County Council’s mobile library service in the north of the county was not running.
Several bus routes were also disrupted because of the icy conditions and snow.
The A40 at Lewknor was closed yesterday morning because of snow at the junction with the B4009, but was later cleared, as council gritting operations continued.
Meanwhile county council spokesman Martin Crabtree urged residents to make sure neighbours and relatives were coping with the cold.
He said: “If you have an elderly, vulnerable neighbour or relative, think about contacting them or calling round to check that they are OK.
“Icy roads and snow means that they may not be able to get out and about. They may need help with shopping, clearing paths, getting a repeat prescription, walking the dog – or they might just appreciate seeing a friendly face.”
Oxford City Council waste collections have continued as normal, and it is hoped normal service will run today.
Residents covered by South Oxfordshire District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council should leave their bins out to be collected as soon as possible following some disruption yesterday.
Cherwell District Council was catching up on delayed collections yesterday and there will be no brown bin collections in the north of the district this week.
Anyone with concerns about elderly neighbours in the cold weather can contact Age UK Oxfordshire’s Information and Advice Helpline on 0844 887 0005, the Oxfordshire County Council Adult and Social Care team on 0845 050 7666, or the out of hours emergency number on 0800 833408.