Motorists advised not to travel unless essential

Posted on: 31 January 2019

Devon County Council is urging people across snow-hit areas of the county not to travel tomorrow morning (Friday 1 February) unless absolutely essential.

Heavy snow has caused traffic disruption in parts of the county earlier this afternoon and this evening.

The A380 is closed at Ideford Dip due to a vehicle blocking the road, and the A38 Telegraph Hill has been blocked by stationary traffic but work is underway to reopen the A38 and free south bound traffic from the M5.

The A379 at Peamore near Exeter has been blocked by a jack-knifed lorry, the B3192 is closed near the Teignmouth Hill area due to an overturned vehicle and other abandoned vehicles blocking the road, and the A3079 was closed at Tanners Hill near Okehampton. There are also abandoned cars on the A377 at Copplestone and cars stuck on the A386 at Hatherleigh.

A number of vehicles were stranded on the A39 near Hartland earlier and pupils travelling in a school bus which had got stuck had to take refuge in a local pub. This has now been cleared, the road reopened and all pupils have headed home.

Gritters, ploughs and other extra resources have been deployed to keep routes clear – including to the A39, the Blackdown Hills, and A361 North Devon Link Road. Snow response plans are also still in effect at Haldon/Telegraph Hill and the North Devon Link Road.

With the Met Office’s Yellow Warning remaining in place until midday tomorrow, the County Council’s gritting teams and snow clearance fleet are working around the clock. Concerns remain over the prospect of disruption on high ground as snow flurries are possible through the night. Road surface temperatures are expected to fall away further bringing a risk of ice on untreated roads.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The amount of snow that has fallen in a short space of time has caused disruption in some parts of the county, and unfortunately some people have been caught out by the conditions while others have been caught up behind vehicles that have got stuck. We may still get more snow overnight and conditions will be icy so if you don’t need to venture out tomorrow then please avoid doing so. If you have to travel please take extra care. The risk of hazardous conditions will remain tomorrow morning while our teams continue to work hard to re-open routes and treat our main gritting routes.”

You can keep up to date with any school closures at www.devon.gov.uk/schools/closure.

Devon County Council is reminding people 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.
  • Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. The NHS website has more information on staying healthy during cold weather.
  • Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you have food and essential medications.
  • Check out any school closures and sign up for alerts for any school.

Highways England is advising drivers to pay attention to messages on the overhead electronic signs and listen for radio updates.

Further information can be found by visiting Highways England or by following @highwaysSWEST on Twitter.

For more information and travel advice from Devon County Council visit www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment