Emergency services deal with 20 crashes in an hour on stretch of A19

Durham RPU have Tweeted this photo of the A19 at Peterlee showing collisions both northbound and southbound.
Durham RPU have Tweeted this photo of the A19 at Peterlee showing collisions both northbound and southbound.

Police are urging drivers not to make 'non-essential' journeys after dealing with 20 crashes in the space of an hour on the A19.

Durham Police are warning people not to underestimate the 'treacherous driving conditions' following multiple collisions on the A19 southbound near Castle Eden.

Around 2pm today emergency services were called to an 11-vehicle crash on the A19 southbound at Castle Eden.

There are not believed to be any serious injuries, but the road is likely to remain closed for a considerable length of time while recovery is underway.

There has also been a separate collision involving two vehicles on the A19 southbound.

On the northbound carriageway, two collisions have resulted in closures at Easington and Castle Eden.

Durham Police are at the scene of the incidents and have confirmed that they will reopen the A19 southbound at Easington for HGV's only.

They will be escorted down with a gritter in the Cleveland area. Once the HGV's have passed the road will then be closed until further notice.

A statement from Durham Police read: "The A19 southbound is closed at Castle Eden following an 11-vehicle collision.

"There are not believed to be any serious injuries, however the road is likely to remain closed for a considerable length of time while recovery is underway.

"A separate two-vehicle collision has also occurred on the southbound carriageway nearby.

"On the northbound carriageway, two collisions have resulted in closures at Easington and Castle Eden.

"In the last hour alone, there have been 20 collisions on this stretch of the A19.

"We would like to reiterate our advice that people avoid making non-essential journeys.

"Please do not underestimate how treacherous driving conditions are at the moment."

North East Live Traffic warned drivers to expect delays following the incidents. They Tweeted: "Heavy snow. Durham Police in attendance. Expect heavy delays."

Cleveland Police have Tweeted saying that the A19 in both directions between Easington and Sheraton are closed due to multiple vehicle collisions.

The Tweet said: "Please avoid this part of the A19 if you must use the A19 tonight."

The force has issued a warning to drivers of the extremely poor conditions on the A19 near Hartlepool.

The force is warning people that they should only drive if essential as the severe weather is causing visibility on the road to be dangerously reduced.

Police have said conditions are still poor with visibility at times down to 25 feet.

They said it is a result of strong winds blowing snow from the fields onto the road.