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Heavy snow falling across Devon
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- Snow falling across Devon
- Drivers warned to take care on the roads
- No more snow expect on Wednesday
Snow is causing hazardous driving conditions in Devon. The A303 eastbound is blocked - queueing traffic and long delays between B3170 (Marsh) and A358 / B3168 Station Road (Southfields Roundabout, Donyatt).
THE Highways Agency is warning drivers across the South West to take extra care on the roads this evening and overnight as further snow and rain, possibly turning to ice, is forecast.
The latest information from the Met Office is that heavy snow is likely in Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire areas, with up to 10cm possible in some places.
The Highways Agency, working closely with the Met Office, has issued an amber alert for these areas advising of the potential for travel disruption.
Action plans with police and local authorities have been activated for the A38 at Haldon Hill and the A417 in the Cotswolds (at Crickley and Birdlip Hill).
Extra resources including heavy vehicle recovery teams are in place. Even where snow has not fallen, there is a risk of rainwater turning to ice.
Gill Risdale, Highways Agency Operations Manager for the South West, said:
“Our winter fleet works around the clock and roads across the South West will continue to be treated whenever there is a risk of ice or snow.
“During severe winter weather drivers should check road conditions and the weather forecast before setting out,and if conditions are poor and journeys are not essential they should think about delaying until conditions improve.
"Drivers who do set out are advised to take extra care, to leave plenty of extra time for their journeys, and to leave enough distance between vehicles to stop safely.
"While driving they should listen to travel bulletins on the radio and take a severe weather emergency kit including warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade for snow.”
THE A38 near Plymouth was closed for several hours this afternoon following a series of crashes in the poor weather conditions.
The road only reopened at 4pm after several vechicles had spun off the road earlier in the day.
One man was seriously hurt in one of the incidents and is in a critical condition in hospital.
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So much snow in tiverton— @_SachaFierce 22 January 2013
RT @AshmanRob: In other weather news the river is nearly flooding by ladds in crediton— @samjacksons 22 January 2013
mum wont drive me to crediton because the weather is supposed to get worse 😢— @SophieBarons 22 January 2013
THE planned overnight closure of the A30 westbound from Daisymount Junction to the junction of the A30/C832 near M5 Junction 29 tonight, will now not take place due to expected severe weather.
This week's closures on that stretch, from 8pm to 6am each night, are to enable overhead gantry signs to be replaced over the westbound A30.
Devon County Council says that work will recommence as soon as the weather permits.
COMMUTERS and other road users are being urged to take care this evening as heavy snow is forecast. Devon County Council, the Highways Agency, and Devon and Cornwall Police are advising drivers to check the weather forecast and road conditions before they set out.
Devon County Council is warning that conditions on the local highway network will be challenging from this afternoon as rain throughout much of today has washed salt from the roads.
Devon County Council gritters are already treating around 1,700 miles of the precautionary salting network and are planning to work around the clock, with further treatments at 9pm and 3am.
The Met Office has issued an amber alert, forecasting that there may be up to 10cm of snow on higher ground.
Snow could also be widespread across East and North Devon and there is a risk of ice tomorrow morning.
The Highways Agency, which is responsible for motorways and major A roads, has also issued an amber alert. If conditions are poor and journeys are not essential drivers are advised to think about delaying until conditions improve and allowing the winter fleet the chance to treat the roads.
The Highways Agency has been working round the clock to keep traffic moving and its fleet of snow ploughs and salt spreaders will continue to treat the 170 miles of the strategic road network in the county whenever there is a risk of ice or snow.
Vehicles have been deployed to Haldon Hill, Telegraph Hill and the North Devon Link Road, gearing up for the potential of heavy snow starting this afternoon and continuing into and beyond this evening’s peak period.
The Forward Command Point has been established at Haldon Hill and Telegraph Hill this afternoon to monitor conditions.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The mix of rain, sleet and snow is making it difficult for our highways teams and travelling conditions could become hazardous, particularly during rush hour this evening and tomorrow morning.
“Even though temperatures may not be as low as we’ve had recently, everyone should be prepared for the possibility of travel disruption and plan their journey accordingly.
"Please keep an eye on the forecast, be alert to the conditions and allow extra time for your journey, and avoid unnecessary travel this evening.”
Motorists are 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;
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.
Snowing like crazy in cullompton not one flake in exeter!!— @RyanAtkins90 22 January 2013
#uksnow Cullompton Devon, 8/10 http://t.co/uXDuJUxg— @_sarahbutcher 22 January 2013
Amber Warning of Snow for South West England : Devon, Somerset, North Somerset, Dorset, Bath and North East Some... http://t.co/WnvIl42k— @metofficeSWEng 22 January 2013
"@JosieMary: Snowing very heavy in #tiverton #uksnow" @amyorangejuice any yet?— @MadebyDolly 22 January 2013