Let it snow in Barking and Dagenham

THOUSANDS of pupils enjoyed several days off before a slow thaw averted a two-pronged transport and exam crisis. Arctic temperatures threatened to throw the GCSE and A-level exam schedule into chaos after three days of heavy snow between Wednesday [Jan

THOUSANDS of pupils enjoyed several days off before a "slow thaw" averted a two-pronged transport and exam crisis.

Arctic temperatures threatened to throw the GCSE and A-level exam schedule into chaos after three days of heavy snow between Wednesday [January 13] and Friday.

Stocks of gritting salt dropped in Barking and Dagenham, with nearly two thirds of its 1,500 ton in reserve used up during these three days alone.

But council chiefs said exams starting on Monday were not expected to be delayed as all schools reopened on Monday.


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Disruption to town hall services was nonetheless expected to continue, while bin men hoped to catch up on missed collections by the end of the week.

Barking and Dagenham Council also warned pensioners against braving the icy roads to renew their freedom passes.

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On Friday, temperatures had dropped as low as parts of Alaska, as the thermometer plunged to -1 - the same as the largest city in the US state, Anchorage, but the Met Office announced a "slow thaw" on Monday.

Temperatures had risen to 1C on Monday, were forecast to soar to 4C today (Wednesday) and possibly 5C on Friday.

All Saints and Barking Abbey secondaries and a dozen primaries were shut on Friday with early closures at another six schools.

On Thursday, Robert Clack pupils enjoyed frolicking and striking "starfish" poses

for the POST, as Central Park in Wood Lane, Dagenham, was covered by inches of snow.

A council spokesman said on Monday: "Thankfully the weather has improved. Based on the forecast we have gritted the areas that are scheduled for a Monday collection to ensure the refuse crews are able to access as many addresses as possible.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this disruption and we would like to thank residents for their patience.

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