Police advice North Yorkshire drivers to avoid driving during Storm Ciara unless absolutely essential

Traffic officers are warning drivers to avoid all non-essential journeys today due to widespread flooding on main routes in North Yorkshire.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 4:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 4:56 pm

North Yorkshire Police has received reports of impassable roads, standing water and collisions caused by the weather today.

Major roads in and out of the county, including the A64 and A1(M), are covered in a significant amount of standing water, making them hazardous to motorists.

North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room is also experiencing a very high volume of calls due to weather-related incidents, and has issued advice to callers to help manage demand.

Stock image. JPI Media

Roads Policing Sergeant Neale Rees said: “Hours of extremely heavy rain have taken a toll on our road network, and in many places water is pooling faster than it can drain. This includes major trunk roads across the region.

“We are now advising motorists to avoid all non-essential travel until conditions improve. If your journey is absolutely unavoidable, please exercise extreme caution.”

North Yorkshire Police is working with other organisations including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Highways team to clear as much standing water as possible and rescue drivers who have become stranded.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said: "We are currently dealing with a high volume of emergency calls due to the weather. Since this morning, we have responded to over 150 calls."

North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room is experiencing a very high volume of calls due to weather-related incidents. Anyone reporting a non-emergency may face longer waiting times, as police must prioritise incidents where there is an immediate threat to someone’s safety.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Our officers and staff are working extremely hard to help people throughout the county and meet the demand brought about by today’s weather.

“If you need to contact us and there is no immediate threat to safety, you may encounter a longer wait than usual on 101. Please consider this before making the call and understand that we have a duty to prioritise our resources.

“Do not use 999 unless there is an immediate risk to safety or an ongoing crime. This could prevent us dealing with genuine emergencies.”