ROAD conditions are improving but police and Somerset Highways are still advising not to travel unless it is essential.

At 2pm this afternoon Somerset Highways issued an update on the state of the roads in the county in the wake of Storm Emma.

A spokesman said: "Gritting crews continue to run on a continuous loop (24/7) targeting the principal road network. This arrangement commenced at midnight on Wednesday and will continue until conditions improve.

"Farmer support will continue to run through the day and will be stood down as required.

"Road temperatures are rising and most of the principal road network is now passable except those roads listed below. However, conditions may be variable on all routes and ice could be a factor as temperatures drop later."

Avon and Somerset Police have stood down their major incident as weather conditions improve.

A police spokesperson said: "We'd like to praise the incredible response from emergency services, partner agencies, charities, volunteers and our communities to keep people safe."

Roads closed:

High ground and exposed areas have been particularly hit and many minor routes will be impassable. Roads currently closed are:

A39 Porlock Hill – closed. Clearance underway

A358 Flaxpool Hill – passable one lane only, works underway

A37 Shepton Mallet, Kilver Hill – one lane open

B3081 Evercreech to Bruton – one lane cleared and gritted – passable with care.

B3224 Wheddon Cross to Raleghs Cross – deep snow drift at Pitleigh, contractor on site

South Molton Road, Simonsbath – road has been ploughed but very icy so remains closed

B3190 Haddon Hill, Upton – drifting snow, passable with care