Drivers urged to 'only travel if essential' after icy conditions cause dozens of crashes in Somerset

The icy roads are making for treacherous driving conditions Credit: PA Images

Drivers are being urged to only travel if essential after Avon and Somerset Police received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in just five hours.

Between 6pm and 11pm last night (16 January) there were 53 crashes, with most of them caused by icy and dangerous driving conditions.

In seven of these collisions, people suffered injuries but they are not thought to be serious.

The treacherous conditions are the result of plummeting temperatures after a large amount of rainfall over the last few weeks.

Superintendent Mark Runacres said: "We are advising the public to only travel where absolutely essential due to the treacherous driving conditions.

"If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution and allow additional time to travel.

"We have seen a significantly higher number of road-related collisions and incidents in the past 12 hours, which has increased the demand on police resources.

"We are working with local authorities and National Highways to ensure roads are properly gritted ahead of the rush hour traffic to improve driving conditions."

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across the South West. The warning will be in place until 10am this morning (17 January).