Icy weather in York leaves 40 people in hospital with broken bones

Icy weather has led to an increase in people rushed to York Hospital with broken bones – putting extra pressure on already stretched services.

Around 40 patients need specialist treatment for broken bones and injuries related to slips and falls on the ice, following freezing weather during the past few days.

York Hospital has had to create extra capacity to care for patients and the accident and emergency department has been extremely busy, a spokesperson said.

Yesterday the hospital urged people with non-life-threatening injuries to stay away.

They are urging people to stay at home so that they do not risk injuring themselves by slipping on the ice.

“We would urge people to take great care in the current icy conditions and help alleviate pressures on our busy A&E department by staying home and not making unnecessary journeys,” a spokesperson for the hospital said.

“There has been an increase in people attending A&E with injuries related to slips and falls due to the current icy weather.

“The Emergency Department at York Hospital has currently referred around 40 patients requiring specialist treatment for broken bones and related injuries and extra capacity has been created to care for these patients.”

Treacherous conditions

York Hospital. Photograph: YorkMix

Residents say conditions have been treacherous on many footpaths, roads and cycle paths as shows and temperatures below zero degrees led to black ice forming.

Cllr Pete Kilbane shared a picture of a double decker bus that had skidded on ice in Leeman Road at about 8am on Monday morning and urged people to take care.

A spokesperson for City of York Council confirmed that since January 1, the primary route including many of the city’s main roads has been gritted six times and footpath routes have been gritted three times, including Monday night. To see which roads and footpaths are on the priority routes visit york.gov.uk/gritting.

Bill Manby, the council’s head of highways, said: “There is currently a yellow warning of ice for the local area, which remains in force for the next couple of days meaning icy patches are expected to develop, especially on untreated surfaces.”

He urged people to consider the weather before travelling.

“This season we have treated the roads and trial cycle network on 22 occasions, using 1,100 tonnes of salt,” he added.

“Each time our nine large and three mini gritters treat York’s network they cover around 390 kilometres of road, footways and cycle paths with up to 100 tonnes of salt, with crews leaving as early as 4am to ensure the city’s main roads, footpaths and cycle ways are treated.

“Some circumstances affect when and how we spread grit, including, traffic, rain that can wash away grit, unexpected changes and temperatures below -5C, which make grit less effective.

“The aim of the winter maintenance service is, as far as is reasonably possible, to allow the safe movement of traffic, pedestrians and cyclists, on York roads, footways and cycleway during times of adverse winter weather.

“It also seeks to keep delays and accidents to a minimum. Precautionary treatment is undertaken before ice forms or snow settles on the highway.

“The precautionary treatment will only be to footways and carriageways on the defined network, which excludes most footways, cycleway and all car parks.

“The gritting of cycle route networks forms part of our winter maintenance, unfortunately resources do not allow us to treat these as frequently as the primary network, these routes will be treated as and when resources becomes available.”