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Stay off the roads say emergency services
6:17am Thursday 2nd December 2010 in News
Hampshire’s adverse weather office was in operation throughout the night and continues to co-ordinate a multi agency response to the snow and ice.
Worst affected areas overnight included the A3, which police appealed to HGVs not to use and the M3, which was closed at junction nine because of a jackknifed lorry.
It is hoped that recovery will have taken place and the M3 reopened by 5am.
Highways Agency and council gritting and ploughing vehicles have been treating strategic and priority routes, and responding to specific problems as they occur.
Hampshire Constabulary deployed 4x4 vehicles to many areas of the force in advance of the snow arriving, which enabled officers to respond to emergencies throughout the snowy conditions.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service provided 4x4 vehicles to assist South Central Ambulance Service in responding to emergency calls.
Local military personnel and vehicles have been used to help emergency services reach the most inaccessible areas.
Because of freezing temperatures, roads will remain dangerous into the morning rush hour even when it stops snowing, and police are urging people to consider whether their journey is really essential.
Many roads are passable with extreme care, but reducing non-essential journeys decreases the risk of road traffic collisions and keeps emergency services free to respond to those who need them the most.
If you must travel: Prepare yourself for your journey – first ask if your journey is really necessary.
If it is, pack warm clothes, food, hot drinks, a fully charged mobile phone and a shovel. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
2. Prepare your vehicle for your journey – make sure your vehicle is well maintained, clear of snow and ice and that your tyres are at the correct pressure.
3. Drive safely – keep your distance, avoid hard braking or acceleration and steer gently.
If you skid, ease off the accelerator, and try and avoid braking hard.
If you are staying home, take a moment to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may need some help with shopping, clearing a safe pathway or keeping warm.
In addition, Hampshire Constabulary is reminding officers and staff who cannot get to their normal place of work to ring into work, and where possible report to their nearest police station.