East Hampshire braced for heavy snow
EAST Hampshire is bracing itself for heavy snow this morning which is expected to cause major travel disruption across the district.
Trains are running to a revised timetable between Rowlands Castle, Petersfield, Liss, Liphook, Haslemere and Alton and London Waterloo and many schools will be closed for the day.
Snow is now starting to settle on the A3 at Butser Hill and Hampshire Police are warning motorists to only use this route if their journey is absolutely essential as concerns grow that the expected heavy snowfall could block the route.
During the early hours of this morning heavy snow started moving into the west country, causing major traffic problems on roads through Dorset and Wiltshire heading west.
Hampshire County Council’s gritting teams have been working through the night to prepare the roads for the expected heavy snowfall.
A total of 164 schools were closed for the day in Hampshire due to the expected bad weather conditions.
As at 7.30am this morning the following schools were closed: Alton College (partial closure), Catherington Infant, Chawton Primary, Cheriton Primary, Hambledon Infant, Herne Junior, Hollywater, Horndean Junior, Horndean Infant, Horndean Technology College, Langrish Primary, Liss Infant, Medstead Primary, Petersfield Infants, Petersgate Infants, Sheet Primary, St Mary’s Bentworth Primary.
For the latest update on closures visit www.hants.gov.uk
In West Sussex, Rogate Primary School and Camelsdale Primary School in Haslemere are also closed.
Hampshire County Council says it is ready to keep Hampshire moving. The county council’s salt barns are full with enough salt for 15 days of continuous, round-the-clock salting and 3,000 community salt bins have salt for people to spread on public roads and pavements.
Around 100 farmers are on standby to assist with clearing roads of snow using snow ploughs if needed on rural routes.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The forecasts we receive indicate that it will snow in Hampshire from approximately 4am and that it is likely to be persistent, with five to ten centimetres settling across the county, although to a lesser extent in coastal areas.
“I would ask people to do their bit to help, by using the salt in the community salt bins, to treat public roads and pavements near to where they live.”
Chief Inspector Gary Cooper, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Critical Incident Cadre, said: “Our advice at this stage is if you can avoid travelling on the roads, please do.
“Keep journeys to only those that are absolutely necessary - at all costs we want to avoid a repeat of traffic chaos we have had during snow in previous years.
“Those that have the flexibility in their job to work from home - this would be a very good day to do so.
“Together with our partner agencies we are setting up an Adverse Weather Office based at our support headquarters at Netley, to live-time monitor the situation as it develops and manage any issues that arise caused by the snow. Our unified aim is to keep everybody safe and moving.”
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Weather for Petersfield
Thursday 12 December 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 4 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South