Roads and trains affected as snow covers Somerset

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View from Bishop's Hull across to Quantocks
Image caption,
Up to 20cm of snow has fallen in parts of the county

Heavy snow has caused travel disruption in Somerset, with many roads closed and train and bus services suspended.

Up to 8in (20cm )of snow settled as temperatures fell to -8C at Yeovilton.

All bus services have been cancelled and South West Trains has suspended services between Templecombe and Exeter St Davids.

The M5 southbound between junction 21 at Weston-super-Mare and junction 22 at Burnham-on-Sea has now reopened after a jack-knifed lorry blocked one lane.

Snow and ice have also caused problems on the county's roads as many minor roads are untreated.

The A39 at Porlock Hill and the A38 at Star are closed while gritting crews say Cheddar Gorge, Shipham Hill and Monument Hill at Wellington are impassable.

Geoff Dight, from Somerset County Council, said: "Although we've been working through the night salt does take time to be effective.

"So whilst we've got plenty down out there and the roads look quite white and bad, once traffic starts getting on it, it will improve."

'Becoming treacherous'

Paul Smart, from North Somerset Council, said: "Some of the side roads are going to be very treacherous and some of the minor B roads are also treacherous, particularly on the gradients.

"Whilst the minor roads aren't going to get any treatment, the B roads themselves which we do normally treat, they are also becoming treacherous.

Image caption,
Turnout for a demonstration against council cuts was lower than expected

"I would urge people to make their way to the major roads but with extreme caution."

First Bus has suspended services at Weston, Bath, Wells, Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil.

South West Coaches and Berry Coaches have also suspended all services.

The snow did not stop some people from staging a protest against planned cuts by the county council although organisers did say the turnout was much smaller than they had hoped for.

Forecasters say snow is not expected overnight but ice remains the hazard, with temperatures below freezing.

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