THE A303 has been closed and around 100 cars tranded between Ilminster and A30 near Upottery after the 'beast from the east' hit the county.

Highways crews have been gritting the county since midnight on Wednesday, but extreme snow followed by freezing rain has forced them to close a stretch.

The Highways team has been in action since midnight on Wednesday.

A number of roads have had to be closed, with around 100 stranded vehicles on A303.

Here is a full update from the Highways team at 6am this morning:

  • Gritting crews have been busy since midnight on Wednesday, running a 24 hour operation
  • Farmer support was activated and ploughing took place between 4pm and midnight on Thursday
  • Freezing rain fell between midnight and 2 am. This hampered progress as the road conditions turned treacherous
  • Crews focussed on the town centres during this time, in particular routes to Musgrove Park and Yeovil Hospitals
  • Rain eased around 2.30am and crews were deployed onto the wider main road network
  • Heavy snow and high winds have hampered our ability to keep all roads open. High ground and exposed areas have been particularly hit.

Roads currently closed are:

  • A39 Porlock Hill
  • B3224 Wheddon Cross to Raleghs Cross. Routing via Dunster instead. Likely to require digger during daylight hours because drifts are so high
  • South Molton to Simonsbath
  • Cheddar Gorge – crews intend to explore opening up from the north
  • A37 Shepton Mallet – currently being assessed
  • A371 Prestleigh Hill (nr Shepton Mallet) – abandoned vehicles to be recovered
  • A371 Westbury sub Mendip – abandoned vehicles to be recovered
  • A358 Bagborough to Bishops Lydeard
  • During the course of the night A37 Shepton Mallet, A39 Kilve and A358 Crowcombe became unpassable. A39 Kilve is now opened. Crews are assessing A37 Shepton Mallet.
  • The A358 at Crowcombe has been cleared but the A358 between Bagborough and Bishops Lydeard is now impassable and is currently being addressed
  • A39 Minehead to Porlock is difficult to pass
  • A303 between Southfields Roundabout at Ilminster and Upottery is closed with around 100 stranded vehicles. Highways England has been trying to open the road. Search and Rescue services have been deployed.