Urgent black ice warning after man dies and major incident declared 

POLICE are advising people to only travel if “absolutely essential” after freezing weather conditions resulted in dozens of road accidents and a fatal crash.

A major incident has been declared by Avon and Somerset Police after a double-decker bus overturned in a crash involving a motorcycle at around 6am.

The force said the A39 Quantock Road in Bridgwater has been closed.

It’s currently unknown how many people were involved in the accident or whether anyone was injuried.

Before the crash, the force said in a statement that they are advising the public to only travel if essential after they received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in five hours.

A total of 53 road traffic collisions were reported to Avon and Somerset Police between 6pm and 11pm yesterday evening, with the majority being a result of the freezing weather causing dangerous driving conditions.

Man dies following reports of icy conditions

Elsewhere in Wiltshire a man died following a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the B4039 near Chippenham yesterday evening. 

A 34-year-old man from the Castle Combe area, who was the driver of an Audi, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other driver was taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries, which are not described as serious or life-threatening at this stage.

Two other vehicles crashed into a bank to avoid the collision.

There was also an accident on the B3089 in Berwick St Leonard involving two vehicles. One of the vehicles had flipped onto its side. A woman has been taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Wiltshire police said in a statement yesterday evening that their control room is continuing to receive multiple reports of black ice across the county and driving conditions are difficult.

Police say only travel if “absolutely essential”

The Met Office has said all of England will continue to experience cold weather until 9am on Friday.

Forecasters issued a yellow warning for ice across southern England which is in place until 10am on Tuesday morning, with ice likely to cause difficult driving conditions.

Superintendent Mark Runacres from Avon and Somerset Police 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.”

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