POLICE are urging motorists to take care on icy roads after being called out to five road traffic accidents in just two hours.

Four of the incidents happened within minutes of each other this morning, at Grasmere, Ambleside, Newby Bridge and Dalton. An incident also took place in Windermere.

Police later said the motorists were lucky to have escaped unhurt.

A spokeswoman for the force in Cumbria said: “Motorists are being urged to take extra care and drive to the conditions after ice has caused dangerous driving conditions in the south Cumbria area.

“Temperatures have dropped which has led to treacherous road conditions and black ice in places.”

She explained that the first incident took place at 6.32am outside the Windermere Hotel, on Kendal Road.

A female driver in a Jeep-style Suzuki car skidded on 150 metres of ice, which had formed on the road following damage to a water pipe several weeks earlier.

Water leaking from the pipe had frozen onto the road, causing the motorist to skid into a wall.

At around 8.22am a car also crashed onto its side on the A592, by Fell Foot Country Park, Newby Bridge.

The 28-year-old driver of the Hyunda i10, who had been heading towards Bowness at the time of the incident, was said to be “shaken”.

The third incident took place on the A591 near Ambleside, at 8.23am, when a Volkswagon Golf hit a tree.

Just a minute later, on the same road, a car also overturned, around a mile from Rydal Water, near Grasmere.

The Suzuki Vitara went onto its roof prompting passers-by to stop and help pull it upright.

The final incident took place at 8.30am on Ireleth Road, Dalton-in-Furness.

The male driver, in a Rover 45, went off the road and into a beck, close to the Black Dog pub.

The spokeswoman continued: “Fortunately, none of these collisions are believed to be serious.

“No serious injuries have been reported.”

But, she added: “Police are urging communities to be prepared, drive to the conditions and look out for vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours.

“Pavements are just as susceptible to freezing as roads, so take care when walking as well as when driving.”

To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts, visit the Met Office website at www.metoffice.gov.uk.

The Cumbria Highways Hotline can also be reached on 0845 609 6609.