County council criticises Met Office over snow

Local News News

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Senior members of Oxfordshire County Council have criticised the national Met Office for not giving the county sufficient warning of heavy snowfall.

The wave of snow on Saturday night, which hit at the end of a week where students sitting early Prelims had stayed behind, was tackled by the council later than it usually would be due to the perceived lack of information.

According to Rodney Rose, the deputy leader of the council, the chaos caused several crashes and could lead to a review of an agreement the council has with the Met Office.

“We weren’t totally caught out, we have sensors in the roads all over the county and at 05:00 they showed a drop in temperature so we started salting at that point,” Mr Rose added.

The Met Office claimed that sufficient warning was given before the event, as an alert was released for parts of the county overnight followed by one covering the whole of Oxfordshire by Saturday morning.

However, this did not appear to be enough to stop dangerous road conditions in the areas near the city, with residents in the town of Woodstock reporting roads going ungritted.

Despite the county council’s concern, not all Oxford students away for the Easter vacation appeared to be worried.

“I wish I was still in Oxford, as the snow is fun and pretty and it is the only justifiable excuse to crack out my ski boots and fur hat during term time”, said one fresher at Queen’s.

PHOTO / Ben Haveron