UPDATE: Council gritters were out in force

HEAVY snowfall forced a temporary closure of the North Devon Link Road early this morning (Thursday). Cars and HGVs became stuck overnight as the region was hit by a second blast of wintry weather that appeared to take forecasters by surprise. Devon Count

HEAVY snowfall forced a temporary closure of the North Devon Link Road early this morning (Thursday).Cars and HGVs became stuck overnight as the region was hit by a second blast of wintry weather that appeared to take forecasters by surprise.Devon County Council said that between 10cm and 15cm of snow fell in parts of the county, around double the levels that had been forecast. Temperatures plummeted below freezing overnight, the lowest being Yarcombe which reached -2.3 degrees Celsius.Around 50 cars and 15 trucks were stuck on the Exeter-bound carriageway of the M5, while the A30 from Bodmin to J31 of the M5 was closed until daybreak.The A38 and A380 at Telegraph Hill were closed at the Splatford Split junction at around 4am this morning and Highways Agency snowploughs had to deal with both Haldon Hill and Telegraph Hill before they were passable. The roads were opened around an hour later.On the A30 at Whiddon Down, Okehampton, police were called to assist a lorry that had jack-knifed at around 1am.According to the Highways Agency, gritting lorries had been running a "full winter service" overnight.The county council said highways teams had been working continuously overnight, with gritters out from 6pm covering the county's main salting network.A spokesperson said: "Efforts were escalated during the night to include secondary routes as snow fell and around 1,300 tonnes of salt were used on around 2,000 miles of the county's roads overnight." The council has also been clearing a number of felled trees which had been blocking roads, including the A377 at Umberleigh; the A396 Blackcat; and the A399 at Brayford Quarry; but they are all now clear. Chris Cranston, the council's Highway Operations Control Centre Manager, added: "We had planned a preventative regime on the basis of the forecast but we were able to escalate that overnight. "While we're not expecting further significant snow it will be another cold night this evening, and with the amount of snow we've had it could potentially be icy tonight. "However it should improve to become milder and wet and windy by the weekend."Devon County Council said it has around 11,000 tonnes of salt in its stocks for the remainder of the winter. For more information on winter driving conditions, visit: http://www.devon.gov.uk/travelling_on_devons_roads.pdf


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