A spokesperson for Essex County Council has confirmed that it is common practice for a local authority to lay grit on the roads before snow comes down, as opposed to afterwards.

According to sources, the revelation at County Hall came after video emerged of Rettendon Turnpike looking like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow under a stupendously whopping two inches of snow.

Residents in South Woodham Ferrers have confirmed that the town has now been abandoned, with people risking hypothermia in the River Crouch to wade across to Hullbridge where the roads have actually been gritted for some reason.

Percy Pig was successfully rescued from the BP garage at around 9am this morning.

The spokesperson added: ‘We cannot be held responsible for the state of the county’s roads today.’

‘All we had were five separate weather forecasts, hundreds of emails from concerned members of the public, and the Chelmsford town crier’s dog running around and howling maniacally between midnight and 5am, only pausing every now and then to chew his testicles.’

‘Unfortunately, under EU rules we have to offer flexible working arrangements to people who operate gritter lorries, and eleven of them asked if they could work from home this weekend.’

‘Anyway everyone should be looking on the bright side – it looks like Frozen out there. Everyone loves that film, don’t they?’

A joint statement from c2c and whoever they are this week Anglia said: ‘We are monitoring the situation very carefully, but if there is any sort of risk that our buses will not be able to reach their destinations safely some service alterations will be inevitable.’

Image: Hal MacLean