Police warning not to drive tonight due to dangerous conditions

The road at Whitefield Hill near Berry Down. Picture: Tony Gussin

The road at Whitefield Hill near Berry Down. Picture: Tony Gussin - Credit: Tony Gussin

Driving conditions could remain dangerous in North Devon tonight (Monday) with a yellow weather warning in place for ice from 7pm.

Despite the sun starting to melt the snow in Barnstaple this afternoon, temperatures are set to drop overnight and into the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Many rural communities have once again been cut off by the snow, including across Exmoor, Lynton, Lynmouth and Combe Martin.

Devon County Council Highways tweeted earlier today: “Update for North Devon: Ilfracombe, Lynton, Lynmouth, Combe Martin and other north coast communities remain cut off, with all efforts being made to get through by the crews.

“Drifting snow, temperatures remain low, all causing problems. Further updates as we receive them.”

Cars being stopped by snow drifts near Stowford. Picture: Tony Gussin

Cars being stopped by snow drifts near Stowford. Picture: Tony Gussin - Credit: Tony Gussin

Do not travel during darkness

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Devon Highways and partners are working hard to clear the roads and enable access to these areas.

Police are warning people not to travel during the hours of darkness and to take heed weather warning for ice which will make travelling potentially dangerous.

They are also advising the public who are travelling on foot to be careful as it will become extremely slippery underfoot.

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Anyone looking to head out and find snow is asked to avoid the moors due to the dangerous driving conditions.

A police spokesman said: “The multi-agency operation to keep roads as clear as possible via gritting and ploughing continues.

“Temperatures will remain low today and tomorrow making driving conditions treacherous due to ice.

“We have been working with partner agencies all weekend to keep people safe and main routes open, however, our advice is still for motorists not to travel unless essential.

“If you have to travel, carry additional warm clothing/footwear, food, drink, a charged mobile phone, and ensure your vehicle has a full tank of fuel.

“We would like to thank the public, volunteers and partners once again for all of their assistance, co-operation and hard work over the past few days.”

Expect longer journey times

Main routes have been treated and appear passable with care.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highway Management said: “Our advice is to avoid travel today and tonight if you can.

“If you must travel, please do so with extreme care and expect longer journey times and disruption.

“Many of the major roads are passable with care, but a lot of the minor roads in Devon this morning are impassable and will remain so until we are able to divert resources from the priority road network.

“Road temperatures, while rising a little today, will drop again tonight which may lead to icy conditions and black ice forming especially where snow has melted.

“Driving conditions will be difficult again overnight and into tomorrow morning.”

Bus services to Ilfracombe were delayed this morning but Stagecoach South West has confirmed these are now running as normal.

A number of schools have also closed in North Devon today - see the full list here.North Devon Council will be providing emergency accomodation for rough sleepers again tonight at the Salvation Army Hall in Barnstaple.

Anyone can self-refer from 8pm-10pm, but after 10pm clients can only be referred by the police or out-of-hours team.

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