Motorists in parts of UK told to only travel if it's 'essential' as snow and ice spark surge in accidents

Motorists in some parts of England are being urged to only travel if "absolutely essential" after freezing weather led to dozens of road accidents. Avon and Somerset

Police received more than 100 reports of road-related incidents in the space of just five hours last night - with treacherous conditions causing most of them. Between 6pm

and 11pm, a total of 53 collisions were reported to the force, and seven of these incidents reportedly resulted in injuries. Check the Sky News weather forecast While

work is underway to properly grit roads ahead of this morning's rush hour, Superintendent Mark Runacres said: "If travel is necessary, we ask the public to take extreme caution

and allow additional time to travel. "We have seen a significantly higher number of road-related collisions and incidents in the past 12 hours, which has increased the

demand on police resources." Yesterday, the UK Health Security Agency issued a level three cold alert in response to "severe winter weather" - and according to the Met

Office, the whole of England will continue to experience low temperatures until 9am on Friday. A yellow warning for ice is in place across southern England until 10am today

- with an additional yellow warning for snow in force across Devon and Cornwall. Meanwhile, a yellow warning for snow and ice across Northern Ireland, North West England and

Wales will expire at 12pm - and in Scotland at 9am. Just after 3am, Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted: "Police are urging drivers to travel with caution as heavy snow

showers sweep across the region."