Drifting snow causes problems for North Devon

Joseph Bulmer

Devon County Council and Exmoor communities are battling deep snow drifts from Simonsbath to Blackmoor Gate

DRIFTING snow has brought disruption to parts of North Devon as Devon County Council gritters and ploughs continue to work around the clock dealing with icy roads and deep drifts in and around Exmoor today (Wednesday.)

Although there were no significant snow showers overnight in Devon, wind speeds of up to 45 mph have caused drifting, particularly where snow is lying on high ground.

Police reported drifts of around three feet deep on the A399 at Blackmoor Gate as the road was blocked in the early hours of this morning.

Council contractors cleared the snow at around 2.30am and has reported it is now passable with 4x4 vehicles.

The A39 Kentisbury Hill, A399 Friendship Cross to Blackmoor Gate, and B3358 Challacombe to Simonsbath are all passable with care, but crews are working to keep all of the lanes on these routes open as snow is constantly being blown into the road. The B3223 between Simonsbath and Scobb Hill was closed this morning.

Forecasters have advised there remains a possibility of snow flurries in Devon this afternoon.

Three schools in the county have been reported closed this morning due to roads leading to the school being impassable due to snow and ice.

These are Parracombe Church of England Primary School and Kentisbury Primary School, which are closed all day and Marwood Primary, which aimed to re-open at around 11am once the access road could be salted.

Some school bus services have also been affected, with routes from Martinhoe to Ilfracombe Community College and Kentisbury to Parracombe Primary not running. The service from Woolacombe to Braunton Community College was also abandoned this morning and pupils were returned to their pick up points.

Schools can keep up to date with any closures by logging on to www.devonschoolclosures.info/

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “The snow and ice has caused some disruption to schools and school bus services this morning but our fleet of gritters and snow ploughs are continuing to do all they can to keep roads as clear as possible to keep Devon moving.”