Police lead multi-agency response following heavy snowfall across Northamptonshire

Snow has blanketed Northamptonshire today, leaving motorists in some parts of the county stranded. Picture credit: Sarah Horne.
Snow has blanketed Northamptonshire today, leaving motorists in some parts of the county stranded. Picture credit: Sarah Horne.
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Snow has been causing difficulties around Northamptonshire today and police have been out in force working hard alongside colleagues from other emergency services, partners and volunteers to keep road networks clear but the advice for motorists remains the same - do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Officers in 4 x 4 vehicles have been helping stranded motorists and colleagues from the local Highways department have been moving a number of broken down vehicles and jackknifed lorries.

Most roads are now open but motorists may still encounter difficulties on rural routes and B-roads.

With temperatures set to fall below freezing tonight and more snow showers likely police are reminding those who do need to travel to ensure they leave plenty of time for their journeys and drive appropriately to the conditions.

Local hospitals are also urging people to take care when out and about. A spokesperson said: “If you need medical help, please think about using all the healthcare options available. We’re very busy today prioritising services for those in greatest need and we advise you to call 111 in the first instance to be directed to the most appropriate service.

“Cold weather is particularly problematic for older people - please look out for elderly neighbours and make sure they are warm and safe.”

Superintendent Chris Hillery is leading the force’s response to the adverse weather conditions. He said: "If you are out, my advice is to get home as early as possible tonight and don't venture out again unless you really have to until tomorrow morning.

"If you do have to go out during the night take appropriate action to make sure you are prepared for the cold, snowy conditions. This includes taking extra, warm clothes, a hot drink, de-icer, ice scraper and torch and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged."

"When the roads are wet and icy it can take twice as long to stop your vehicle, so please slow down and plan well ahead of a junction so you slowly come to a halt just before or as you get to the junction.

"If you have to travel, there are measures all road users can take to help minimise risks."

Take a few minutes to read tips issued by police, below:

Be prepared

- Check the latest weather forecast before you head out

- Make sure your tyres have sufficient tread and the correct pressure

- Check your lights workEnsure your battery is chargedMake sure your wiper blades are working

- Put some warm clothes/blankets into your carKeep de-icing equipment in your car so you can clear it before driving

- Make sure your mobile phone is well charged or you have a charger in your car

- Ensure you have sufficient fuel in your tankIf conditions are bad and your journey is not essential, consider postponing your journey to when conditions have improved

Driving in snow

- Slow down and extend braking distances

- Drive in as high a gear as possible and take care at junctions and corners

- Avoid breaking and accelerating sharply

- When braking on snow or ice change into a low gear and use breaks gently, leaving a larger braking distance

- Listen to your local radio station for any updates on any traffic problems and change your route accordingly

- Police and partners are assessing conditions around the clock and further updates will follow. For updates follow @northantspolice

For information about school closures go to: http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/schoolclosures/