The driver of this lorry was the victim of sheet ice on the setts in steep Castle Street, Skipton, on Friday morning.

The Expert Logistics box wagon, whose motto is “Better by Miles”, slid sideways down the frozen road hitting and pushing several cars, said a Skipton police spokesman. Nobody was hurt.

Ambulance bosses were forced to activate a major-incident plan after the black ice caused hundreds of trips, slips, and falls, sparking an “unprecedented” number of 999 calls.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) enlisted its non-essential patient transport service to cope with a surge in demand to treat patients injured in a number of traffic collisions, as well as people hurt after slipping on icy roads and pavements.

Dr Alison Walker, executive medical director for YAS, said: “The service received hundreds of 999 calls for weather-related incidents and we are treating a lot of patients involved in road traffic collisions and injured in slips, trips and falls.

“These calls are in addition to other medical emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes.”

Airedale Hospital at Steeton dealt with four times as many patients.

Airedale A&E consultant Meg Crossley said many people had been “caught out”, injuring themselves in slips, trips and falls because it did not look icy outside.

“If it happens again the message we would like to put out is for people to think before they head out and ask themselves if their journey is really necessary,” she said.