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Snow closes A380 and A38 as traffic grinds to a halt

Snow today across Torquay

There's gridlock on many roads across South Devon as drivers struggle to get home because of the snow.

Devon County Council closed the A380 just before 3pm in both directions between Splatford Split and Eagle Farm -  to avoid drivers getting stuck on Haldon.

The A38 was later closed over Haldon for the same reason.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: "All of Devon County Council’s highways resources are being deployed with this snow event and snowfall is steadily increasing. Our priority is to keep the main road network moving as best we can, so we won’t have the resources to be able clear any minor routes. 

Across Torbay many roads are at a standstill in what has been described as the 'worst traffic problem in a decade'.

Roads across Torbay and Newton Abbot are affected, with traffic stuck on Riviera Way and the South Devon Highway A380 - with some stuck in queues for four hours so far.

This morning a Red Warning for snow was issued by the Met Office for the South West.

It's the highest alert issued and it's only the third ever red warning since the system was introduced seven years ago.

A major incident plan was put in place for Torbay Hospital.

They've beenusing a fleet of 4 x 4s to help get staff to and from work and also to reach patients.

Staff who are unable to get to the main hospital site are being urged to report to their nearest hospital for duty.

Liz Davenport, Interim Chief Executive at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are using a fleet of 4x4s to help transport staff to and from work – including visiting people who urgently need treatment in their homes and communities. We are also appealing to any 4X4 drivers who could volunteer to support this activity over today and tomorrow to contact us on 01803 656269."

Steve Cox, who oversees the emergency planning team at Torbay Council, said: "The Emergency Planning team has been 'attending multi-agency preparedness meetings which have been established to assess the risk and the potential impacts of the severe weather'. 

"If required the council will establish an emergency management team to manage any impacts caused by severe weather in Torbay."

Click play to hear Steve Cox speaking to reporter Andrew Kay

Many attractions across the county remained closed today including Pennywell Farm, Torre Abbey, The Riviera Centre and Paignton Zoo.

Torquay's Living Coasts - which is where the penguins are - remained closed.

Spokesman Phil Knowling says it was to save people travelling on the roads including staff and volunteers.

Click play to hear Phil Knowling explaining how they are supporting the animals during the cold snap

Across Devon many people have been stocking up on essential supplies

Jack Wiltshire runs Wiltshire's stores on Torquay's Babbacombe Road, which has been selling rock salt today. Click play below

For the latest snow information and weather warnings visit the Breeze's rolling blog here

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