FIRE chiefs have warned budding skaters not to be tempted on to icy ponds and lakes as further snowfall threatens to sweep North and East Yorkshire.
With temperatures having stayed at or below freezing for at least two days and nights, ice has been forming on the surface at various locations.
But North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service group manager Trevor Lund urged people to keep well away from the ice.
“Once someone steps on to the ice, they take their life in their hands as there is no guarantee it can bear a person’s weight,” he said.
“History shows that if someone falls through ice they may well disappear out of sight, and once in the water they will quickly be overcome by the intense cold and unable to help themselves.”
Weathermen said they expected light snow to start falling in the region late this afternoon, whipped along by a brisk south-easterly wind, and carry on falling lightly through tonight and tomorrow.
Further snow is possible on both Sunday and Monday, and maximum temperatures will rise no higher than 1C.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service fear a marked increase in patients with breathing difficulties, weather-related incidents, slips, trips and falls and road traffic collisions will put additional pressure on the service.
David Williams, deputy director of operations, said: “Our staff will be working extremely hard to get to local people who call upon us for help as quickly and as safely as possible but understandably hazardous driving conditions may lead to extended drive-times meaning it might take us a little longer than normal to reach patients in the worst-hit areas.”
York-based train operator East Coast has also advised passengers to make checks before travelling today through its website, www.eastcoast.co.uk, by following @eastcoastuk on Twitter or by calling National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.
A spokesman said passengers were being encouraged wherever possible to travel before 6pm, as heavier snowfalls were predicted in the evening.