INJURIES from falls have almost doubled in the icy weather, with road accidents up by 50 per cent, according to local paramedics.

The East of England Ambulance Service, which covers Hertfordshire, has had a hectic week with staff expecting the pressure to continue through the weekend.

Spokeswoman Joy Hale said: “With forecasts of snow showers and the already familiar plummeting temperatures, coupled with icy conditions across the region, we are stringently planning ahead for high demand this weekend and beyond.

“Operational bosses are ensuring key resources are in place to maintain the 999 service, and have emphasised that reviewing staffing, vehicle use, and contingencies is a 24/7 job.”

Neil Storey, associate director of accident and emergency services said: "The ambulance service continuously looks at how it can best adapt to the severe weather, so the high level of patient care can be maintained.

“Our ability to respond as quickly as possible to patients is key and of course this can be challenging in the weather conditions we've dealt with this week and face this weekend.

"We do what is necessary in our planning to continue to help patients, and public support plays a part in that."

He appealed not only for careful driving, but also for pedestrians to wear suitable footwear and clothing.