Fringe Box



Snow – Police Request Motorists to Make Essential Journeys Only

Published on: 18 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 18 Jan, 2013
Snow go on the Farnham Road. A lorry driver consults a coach driver as large vehicles found uphill travel difficult on a road that some suspected had not been gritted

Snow go on the Farnham Road. A lorry driver consults a coach driver as large vehicles found uphill travel difficult on a road that some suspected had not been gritted – Photo Lorimer Burn

Snow arrived in Guildford at 0815 this morning (Friday, January 18), just 15 minutes later than the time predicted by the BBC weather forecast. Surrey Police is now urging motorists to only make essential journeys.

Although major routes are running freely at this time, the freezing weather has made driving conditions treacherous on some minor roads.

Surrey Police’s priority is to ensure the safety of all road-users and residents, especially those who are vulnerable.

The force is working with the Highways Agency and other partner organisations to ensure the welfare of road-users and we are endeavouring to reach urgent incidents as quickly as possible.

Snow Flower Walk

Residential side roads such as Flower Walk are quite badly affected and many drivers are likely to find it difficult to get on to the passable main roads

Staff are working hard, with colleagues, to ensure an effective emergency service continues to operate despite the weather conditions.

Drivers are advised not to travel unless their journey is absolutely necessary, and anyone who must use the road should allow lots of extra time for their journey, avoid high speeds and heavy braking, and pack a blanket, warm clothes, food and a hot drink in case they become stranded.

Drivers who choose to travel and then become stuck should call their recovery company – rather than police – and be prepared for a potentially long wait.

Superintendent Sue Lampard said: “We have already seen significant snowfall across the county and with more forecast for the rest of the day and the weekend, we are urging people to only venture onto the roads if absolutely necessary.

“The conditions across the county are making any travel treacherous and we are advising people to take sensible precautions.”

Despite earlier claims that main routes were being gritted by Surrey County Council one incident on the A31 Farnham Road leading out of town to be jammed for a period. One resident who sent in the photo above said: “The road did not appear to have been gritted and the snow was compacting into ice which made the going difficult for heavier vehicles.”


Guildford Schools appeared to have closed by lunchtime because of the snowfall although they remained open for those taking exams. As in other years, it was not only the problems faced by pupils travelling to and from school but by their teachers who sometimes travel from further afield.

Parents were scanning websites this morning for latest updates. The internet has become probably the most important communication medium for news of school closures.

Toboggans in the High Street

Toboggans in the High Street


Guildford town centre was much quieter than usual as many appeared to have postponed shoping trips until conditions improved or their needs became more pressing. There was some sign of customers stocking up despite forecasts that the snowy weather is unlikely to remain for more than a week. No bulk buys were possible at the market though. All fruit and vegetable stalls were absent or empty.

Guildford Market - No fruit and veg stalls were open

Guildford Market, North Street – No fruit and veg stalls were open

Police advice

Surrey Police are offering the following advice for anyone planning to travel:

  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions before you travel. Visit and Follow @SurreyTravel – !/surreypolice/ on Twitter for an overview of travel in the county.
  • Before you set off in icy/snowy conditions, make sure you have enough fuel, carry warm clothing, a blanket, spade, food, water, a charged mobile phone and a torch. De-ice windows and remove snow from your vehicle’s roof. Make sure battery is fully charged.
  • Select second gear to pull away, choose a lower gear going downhill and avoid braking too sharply.
  • Make sure someone knows when you are leaving and when you aim to arrive. Allow extra time for your journey.
  • Reduce your speed and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front. If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but never brake suddenly.
  • Use dipped headlights if visibility is poor and use your rear fog lights if visibility falls below 100 metres. Don’t forget to turn them off if there is a vehicle directly behind you.
  • If you do have to leave your vehicle – make sure it is secure and take any valuable items with you.

How has the snow affected you? Do you have stories or information about the wintry conditions to share? If so please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ service below.

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