WIDESPREAD snow has hit East Devon overnight and the County Council’s gritters and ploughs are conti

WIDESPREAD snow has hit East Devon overnight and the County Council s gritters and ploughs are continuing their efforts this morning to keep traffic moving on main routes.

WIDESPREAD snow has hit East Devon overnight and the County Council's gritters and ploughs are continuing their efforts this morning to keep traffic moving on main routes.

Up to four inches of snow has fallen on parts of the county, with North and East Devon bearing the brunt of the winter weather.

The county's fleet of gritters have been working throughout the night to keep primary routes salted and as clear as possible. Most of the main routes across the county are passable with care, but motorists are being warned that road conditions off the main network are hazardous, while travel on Dartmoor is difficult and not advised.

The A39 Barnstaple to Kentisbury Ford, A3072 Bickleigh to Crediton, A386 at Station Hill, Torrington and B3232 at Newton Tracey near Barnstaple are all closed this morning.

The North Devon Link Road was closed by Police earlier this morning, despite three gritters working constantly on the route overnight. Snow is continuing to fall on it but all efforts are being made to re-open it as quickly as possible.

The B3391 in the Blackdown Hills on the Devon/Somerset border cannot be accessed from Honiton, but teams are being sent to plough and grit the road.

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Dinan Way in Exmouth is also reported to be icy.

Snow is expected to continue throughout the day, with road temperatures not due to rise above freezing.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "A lot of people have been heeding warnings not to travel unless absolutely essential, but motorists must take extreme care if they are driving. Rest assured our teams are doing everything they can to keep roads as clear as possible. They have worked overnight and with snow falling across the county throughout today, they will continue to work flat out to keep Devon moving."

Chris Cranston, Devon County Council's Highway Operations Manager, said: "I would like to pay tribute to sterling overnight work that Devon county Council and SWH staff and gritter drivers have done overnight and are continuing to do today. As a result the majority of the A road network is passable with extreme care, but travel will continue to be difficult on the remainder of the network and ice is expected to become a real problem generally. Please do not travel unless essential today and keep to the primary (A) road network."

Around 150 schools are closed across the county this morning.

Motorists are being reminded of the following advice:

*Avoid travel unless absolutely essential, especially at night 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 can wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice. In very cold weather even salting will not stop ice from forming;

*If you have to travel, take an emergency kit in your car (shovel, blanket, hot drink, torch, de-icer, boots, battery jump leads);

*Allow extra time for your journey and reduce your speed;

*Listen to local radio for updates on current conditions;

*Drive with care and according to the conditions and pay attentiont o changing conditions. Be ready to slow down and take more care particularly on bends and exposed roads.

For more information about Devon's road network contact 0845 1551004 or visit the website: www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel

Alternatively for trunk road and motorway information call the 24 hour Highways Agency Information Line for live traffic reports (08457-504030) or listen to the latest reports online at www.trafficradio.org.uk

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