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Mid Devon hit by heavy snow
9:19am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
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- Devon County Council say gritters will be out in force
- 'Blizzard-like' conditions hit the county
- Email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Met Office has issued a yellow ice warning for the South West on Monday, January 21.
Tiverton is predicted to have light snow showers at around 9am on Monday until around 9pm. The yellow ice warning will be lifted by around 3pm. Another flurry of snow will come in from around 6am on Tuesday, January 22, breaking in the afternoon before becoming heavy snow in the evening.
The Met Office also anticipates Cullompton will see some light snow on Monday from around 9am, with this clearing by around 3pm. It will be back early Tuesday morning, with a break from around 9am, before coming back in the evening.
Crediton will see light snow predicted for most of Monday, January 21. However, Tuesday will be relatively clear until late evening, when more light snow showers are predicted in the area.
A YELLOW ice warning will remain in place until 11am on Sunday (January 20), the Met Office has warned.
Gritters have been out in force across Devon after road surface temperatures fell to -1.6C (29F) in some areas of the county last night (January 18).
Problem areas have been identified as Exmoor, which has been worst hit by the snow, and along the moors, where motorists have been experiencing difficulty travelling.
First Bus has said services are not experiencing any disruptions.
THE A39 Devon - A39 Countisbury Hill is closed in both directions from the B3234 Lynmouth Hill junction in Lynmouth and the New Road junction in Oare, due to snow.
MOTORISTS across Devon are being urged to take extra care this weekend as the Met Office warns of ice.
A yellow warning is in place for the South West but Devon County Council says its fleet of gritters is prepared to carry out overnight runs.
Today (January 18) saw hazardous driving conditions on the M5 between J30 at Exeter and J26 at Wellington.
Many children had the day off after snowfall closed dozens of schools in the area, which received up to 16cm (6.2in) of snow in some places.
Meanwhile over 260 volunteer snow wardens have been on standby to aid communities as part of Devon County Council's 'snow plan'.
Latest statement from Devon County Council:
ROAD conditions have improved throughout the day with all the main routes passable with care.
Higher parts of the county, on Dartmoor and especially Exmoor, are however still experiencing some difficulties, as well as the A39 Lynton to County Gate, and highways teams are working hard to improve those situations.
Gritters are out on most main routes tonight and again tomorrow morning, as road temperatures are set to fall below freezing.
Icy conditions are expected, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of the county.
Motorists are being reminded of the following advice:
• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;
• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;
• Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed;
• Drive with care and according to the conditions;
• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions.
Information and advice to help motorists be prepared for winter, and up-to-date information on road conditions on England’s motorways and trunk roads is available on the Highways Agency website or by calling the Highways Agency Information Line at 0300 123 5000.
Traffic information is also available on Twitter on @winterhighways and on Facebook.
For more information and travel advice from Devon County Council visit their website or for updates on Twitter follow @HughHOCC and @Devonroads
RT @BBCTravelSW: RT @devonroads: Low to freezing road temperatures this evening mean we will be out gritting. Please drive safely. #DevonWinter— @Roads_DevDorSom 18 January 2013
most notable snow depths so far (by 9am): 25cm Sennybridge, Powys. 15cm Dunkeswell, Devon. 11cm Bristol & Liscombe Down, Somerset— @LucyWeather 18 January 2013
A39 Somerset - Hazardous driving conditions and queueing traffic on A39 Bristol Hill in Wells at the Walcombe Lane junction, because of snow and a jackknifed lorry.
Disruption on CrossCountry between Plymouth and Cheltenham Spa due to earlier signalling problem between Liskeard and Plymouth.
Disruption on South West Trains between Eastleigh and Portsmouth Harbour due to poor weather conditions between Eastleigh and Fareham.
A399 Devon - Queueing traffic on A399 in both directions in Bratton Fleming at the Benton Road junction, because of snow.
Click the link below to Somerset County Council's snow and ice information webpage - giving information about all services affected by the weather, including schools, transport, waste collection and keeping warm.
DEVON County Council teams are working round the clock to keep traffic moving following heavy snowfall in some parts of the county overnight.
Most major routes are passable with care but conditions are hazardous, particularly off the main salting network, and there is some disruption on routes around Devon.
Snow is drifting on the A361 North Devon Link Road and it has re-opened after it was closed earlier at Bonners Bridge, Mullacott Cross to Lynton Cross. Devon County Council gritters have been leading a convoy of vehicles behind them to get traffic moving. Gritters and ploughs are currently working on the A361.
The A380 Telegraph Hill is down to one lane in each direction as a tree has fallen on the highway.
The A375 between Honiton and Putts Corner has been closed as it is impassable.
A number of roads are closed in the Exmoor area. The A399 is closed at Friendship Cross due to drifts of up to 5 foot of snow, the B3223 and B3358 are also closed and snow blowers and JCBs are to be deployed to Exmoor.
The Highways Agency has reported that the A303 has re-opened after an earlier two vehicle accident at Marsh, and the A35 between Honiton and Axminster has now re-opened after it was closed in both directions earlier because of a jack-knifed lorry.
The County Council is advising people to take extreme care if they are travelling today and to expect problems on higher ground, although conditions should be easing during the day.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “County Council teams have been working hard throughout the night gritting and ploughing main roads on our precautionary salting network. The conditions are challenging this morning and most major routes are passable with care, but we are dealing with extremely hazardous conditions on some roads such as the A361, and we would ask people to bear with us. Please do not make unnecessary journeys if it is not essential, but do take extreme care if you are travelling and where you can please keep to the main A and B roads and off of the minor roads.”
A number of schools have reported that they are closed today. They include:
All Saints Church of England Primary in Axminster, Awliscombe Church Of England Primary, Bampton Church Of England Primary, Bishops Nympton Primary, Culmstock Primary, East Anstey Primary near Tiverton, Hawkchurch Church of England School, Haytor View Community Primary in Newton Abbot, Hennock Community Primary in Newton Abbot, Honiton Community College, Ilsington Primary, Kentisbeare Church Of England Primary, Kilmington Primary, Marwood School in Barnstaple, Moretonhampstead Primary, North Molton School, Offwell Church Of England Primary, Pathfield School in Barnstaple, Rackenford Church Of England Primary, St Andrew’s Primary in Chardstock, Shaugh Prior Primary School, Uplowman Church Of England Primary.
For more information visit www.devonschoolclosures.info.
Information and advice to help motorists be prepared for winter, and up-to-date information on road conditions on England’s motorways and trunk roads is available on the Highways Agency website at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or by calling the Highways Agency Information Line at 0300 123 5000
M5 Somerset - Hazardous driving conditions on M5 between J26, A38 (Wellington) and J19, A369 (Portishead), because of snow.
M5 Devon - Hazardous driving conditions on M5 between J30, A376 (Exeter) and J26, A38 (Wellington), because of snow.
Travel - A361 N Devon Link Road in Rackenford closed in both directions at the Rifton Lane junction, because of snow and a jackknifed lorry.— @thevoicefm 18 January 2013
Latest Cold Weather warning for the weekend, issued by the Met Office:
"There is a 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow between 0900 on Thursday and 0800 on Monday in parts of England. This weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services. Please refer to the national Cold Weather Plan and your Trust's emergency plan for appropriate preventive action.
Remaining very cold with icy conditions across all but the far southwest of England throughout the period. Temperatures will be close to average across Cornwall and west Devon for much of the period. A band of snow is expected to move across the whole country on Friday, bringing widespread snow accumulations and leaving icy conditions to all areas excluding western Cornwall. Further snow showers are expected on Saturday away from the southwest, particularly along east coast areas, retaining the risk of ice. Lighter snow showers on Sunday midlands northwards. Strong winds at times across the country will make it feel bitterly cold.
An update will be issued when the alert level changes in any region. Alerts are issued once a day by 0900 if required and are not subject to amendment in between standard issue times. Note that the details of the forecast weather are valid at the time of issue but may change over the period that an alert remains in force. These details will not be updated here unless the alert level also changes, the latest forecast details can be obtained at the following link: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/#?tab=map."
The rail line is now open between Plymouth and Liskeard following several track circuit failures due to the cold weather (JS)— @Roads_DevDorSom 18 January 2013
BUS operator Stagecoach has announced the following updates regarding disruption to routes across the region due to the snow.
21/21A: We are attempting to resume services between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
155: The North Devon link road has reopened therefore we are attempting to resume a full service.
Further information on service 20 in Somerset: The service can operate between Seaton and Honiton. To serve Taunton it is operating to Cullompton then via Wellington and is currently unable to serve Dunkeswell, Culmstock and Hemyock.
99: can now only operate Chard to Taunton and is not able to serve Yeovil.
Torquay: The seafront is currently closed to all traffic. All affected services are diverting via the ring road.
North Devon: 155: From Exeter services are currently terminating at Tiverton. From Barnstaple services are terminating at South Molton.
315: Operating but with long delays.
21/21A: Still unable to serve Ilfracombe.
Somerset: 99: Currently only able to serve main roads
20: Experiencing restrictions due to snow
North Devon: Mullacott Cross is still closed to traffic and we are running the 21 service as far as Braunton. Ilfracombe should become accessible as the weather improves.
Combe Martin to Ilfracombe college buses have not operated this morning, with the College aware of this fact.
72 & 85: We are currently unable to serve Sheabbear, Pyeworthy etc.
70: We are currently unable to serve Weare Gifford.
155: We are currently experiencing delays on this service as the weather moves East.
308: Currently we are only able to serve as far as Croyde
319: We are currently unable to serve Hartland,Clovelly and Woolsey
RT @thisis_exeter: Devon Highways reporting hazardous conditions on M5 between J30, A376 (Exeter) & J26, A38 (Weelington), because of snow http://t.co/mfcp8rq8— @OriginOfEPIC 18 January 2013
2 JCBs going up on to Dartmoor to assist with Yelverton to Prince Town and Tavistock to Prince Town #devonroads— @hughHocc 18 January 2013
Remember to keep checking live traffic and travel updates if you have to head out.
Can't see the top of the hill from our house today as snow arrives in Dartmoor overnight. Due to be washed away later http://t.co/3oNql5Sd— @david_hucker 18 January 2013
Snowy view across to Dartmoor ⛄⛄⛄ http://t.co/0bPyQifZ— @ali1bon 18 January 2013
The Dartcom webcam at Postbridge, Dartmoor is showing a good covering of snow. http://t.co/HFZhEDDf #Devon— @Dartmoor_SRTA 18 January 2013
RT @gavinfabiani: Roads from Tavistock and Dousland up to the Moors (Dartmoor) are closed. #uksnow— @wifeinthebin 18 January 2013
RT @Torbay_Council: Due to the poor weather conditions @ServingTorbay have completely closed #Torquay seafront. We will notify you when the road re-opens.— @gemsnads 18 January 2013
West Devon council say that due to the weather, recycling and waste collections may be delayed today. Crews are out on the main routes and will pick up from side roads where accessible.
A spokesman said: "Please leave your waste out today as crews will possibly be working later than usual. We apologise for any inconvenience but if we are unable to collect your waste, then we will return on Monday.2
DEVON and Cornwall Police are reminding motorists to ‘think safety’ before setting out on the roads during the winter months.
A roads policing enforcement campaign, known as Operation Vortex, is being launched across the region in the last two weeks of January to ensure motorists use the roads safely and target motorists who don’t abide by road traffic laws.
Many routes in and around the force area will be patrolled by officers to address complacent or arrogant driver behaviour which can lead to serious consequences.
The last twelve months has seen some increases in road traffic collisions with injuries across Devon and Cornwall. This initiative is being run to emphasise that keeping our roads safe remains a priority for the Force.
In 2012, there were 554 fatal or serious collisions in Devon and Cornwall, compared to 521 in 2011.
A number of marked and unmarked police patrol vehicles will be on the roads, many equipped with recording technology to deal with offences.
The four main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the region’s roads, known as the ‘fatal four, are excessive or inappropriate speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a seat belt and driver distractions such as using mobile devices. More than 60% of fatal and serious collisions were caused by these four factors.
Research in 2010 highlighted that motorists are using mobile devices more for accessing social media when driving. One in five motorists in the south west admit to checking social media alerts whilst driving, making this a particular focus.
Inspector Richard Pryce, force lead for roads policing, said: “In the vast majority of collisions these four are the primary causes.
The advice is simple – drive within the speed limit and according to the conditions, always ensure you are fit to drive, wear your seat belt and do not be distracted when driving.”
“The most common distraction for drivers is their mobile. Making a call or sending a quick text can be lethal when driving, let alone using social media. Don’t be tempted to use your phone at the wheel for any purpose – switch your phone off before you drive.
“Officers will deal robustly with those they detect offending. Drivers themselves have a part to play to improve road safety across Devon and Cornwall by being responsible.”
As well as motorists taking responsibility for their driving, police also urge them to check the condition of their vehicle. Basic checks are necessary on things such as tyres, wipers and lights.
Before setting off, drivers are also advised to make sure the windscreen is fully cleared and headlights are on if required.
“Beware of icy conditions particularly during early mornings. Consider leaving a little more time for travelling so you can take extra care. Rushing your journey can lead to errors of judgement which can easily lead to a serious crash,” added inspector Pryce.
For more advice and to view a series of film clips highlighting the ‘fatal four’ visit devon-cornwall.police.uk/roadsafety or think.direct.gov.uk
Snow is now falling across most of Devon now - blizzard like conditions with driving becoming difficult in places #winterready— @DC_Police 18 January 2013
RT @DevonLibraries: A few mobile libraries off the road today due to #snow in #Devon #Honiton, #Tavistock, #Tiverton and #Torrington Mobiles.— @SgtDaveMc 18 January 2013
DOZENS of schools are closed today across the region due to the snow.
Click the link below to see which are shut:
Authorities are starting to stack traffic now at the bottom of the hill #A361 Bolham North #Devon Link Latest @gmd #devonsnow— @BBCMatt 18 January 2013
RT @Em_Clements: NOW on @gmd - Latest from @DC_Police on #devonsnow...plus live to @DevonCC highways LIVE with @sophiepierce. 103.4FM in #Devon”— @BBCMatt 18 January 2013
RT @MaryTavyDevon: We have had #snow in Mary Tavy. It's very windy / stormy outside. #Dartmoor #Devon— @plymouth_devon 18 January 2013
Please take care before travelling. Stay #winterready & check @MetOffice forecast #snow #ice #redalert #amberalert http://t.co/7LJ3yiyo— @salvationarmyuk 17 January 2013
Possible weather issues tonight, especially the risk of snow on Haldon Hill. We'll be tweeting info to #winterready as required. Be prepared— @DC_Police 17 January 2013
WE'VE had the floods...and now it's time for the snow.
Mid Devon is braced for 'blizzard-like' conditions tomorrow morning (January 18) and forecasters are predicting more than 10cm of snow widely across the region.
It will be the first significant snowfall of the winter as a weather front from the west hits cold arctic air that has left us shivering this week.
People in Devon are being asked to be prepared for the possibility of widespread snow and ice with forecasters predicting 5-10cm widely and up to 15cm on higher ground.
Blizzard-like conditions and drifting if the snow settles if also likely to be a feature as gusts of wind up to 40mph hit the region.
Rain and snow is likely to clear on Saturday before another band of rain moves into the county on Sunday.
A Met Office spokesman said: “There is a risk of significant disruption to travel and there is still some uncertainty as to how quickly the snow will thaw.”
Council bosses say their gritters will be out in force to keep our roads as clear as possible ahead of this cold snap.
Cllr Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “I would urge everyone to take extra care on the county's roads and footways.”
“Our highways teams are prepared for the possibility of snow and ice and gritters will be responding as required to treat our precautionary salting routes. Every effort is always made to keep highways as clear as possible and keep Devon moving, however people are travelling.
“The combination of rain, sleet or snow, and freezing temperatures could make travelling conditions hazardous, particularly on more minor roads. At this stage we would urge everyone to be aware, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared if you are travelling. And remember that ice can even form on roads which have been treated."
Devon County Council's army of more than 260 volunteer snow wardens are also being asked to be on alert.
If you get any pictures of the snow where you are, email them to email@example.com or tweet us @middevonstar
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