Severe weather causes chaos

THE severe weather is being blamed for a number of accidents and traffic congestion in Comet country on Thursday morning. Heavy rain on Wednesday brought flooding to many rural areas of Hertfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire and gale force winds overnight bro

THE severe weather is being blamed for a number of accidents and traffic congestion in Comet country on Thursday morning.

Heavy rain on Wednesday brought flooding to many rural areas of Hertfordshire and Mid Bedfordshire and gale force winds overnight brought further problems.

The Arlesey by-pass was blocked on Thursday morning during rush hour after a cement lorry collided with a van close to a lay-by. The driver of the van was taken to Lister Hospital with serious head injuries.

Police warned the by-pass would be closed for at least three hours causing major congestion on roads in the area as commuters attempted to reach Hitchin, Letchworth GC, Baldock and Stevenage as well as the A1 (M).


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A woman has been detained in Lister Hospital with head and neck injuries after being struck by a falling tree while walking along Station Approach in Baldock.

Officers from Herts Fire & Rescue had to cut branches from the tree before they could free the woman, who was later taken to hospital for treatment.

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A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: “There was severe weather all night and the tree unfortunately came down this morning and hit the passenger.

“While it happened the station was closed for about an hour and any trains that were going to stop at Baldock were informed just to go straight through and not stop at the station.

“The passenger was cared for at the scene and was made comfortable and the tree was taken away.”

Train commuters to London also faced disruption when overhead power lines between Stevenage and Hertford North came down in the high winds that battered the area for several hours.

Mid Beds District Council said collections of waste from homes in the east of the area would be seriously affected and would be suspended once lorries were full as they had nowhere to dump rubbish as landfill sites in the county had been closed because of the high winds.

The towns most likely to be hit would be Biggleswade, Potton and Sandy.

Steve Whittaker, contract services manager at the council, said: "Bin collections are underway this morning, but once the lorries are full, they have nowhere to empty their loads and collections will cease until the landfill sites reopen.

"Once the landfill sites reopen, our contractors Verdant will work to catch up on the missed collections over the following days. We would ask residents to continue to place their bins out for collection by 7am each morning."

Recycling collections of orange sacks and green-lidded bins are currently unaffected.

* This afternoon Mid Beds District Council said anticipated problems during morning no longer exist.

“The Elstow facility where Mid Beds' household rubbish is taken and transferred onto arctics destined for landfill has been cleared to allow all of today’s collections to be taken there,” said a council spokesman.

“Therefore we now expect all of today’s bins in Mid Beds to be collected as normal

“If the Bedfordshire landfill sites remain closed tomorrow we will update the public then.”

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