Police called to 80 incidents in four hours across North Yorkshire as effects of Storm Ali cause disruption across the network

North Yorkshire Police dealt with more than 80 weather related incidents in the space of four hours today as the effects of Storm Ali were felt across the region.

Storm Ali batters the town of Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Storm Ali batters the town of Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland.

While the brunt of the winds and rain battered Scotland and Ireland the northern parts of the UK were also affected.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said between 12pm and 4pm today (Wednesday) police were called about, or dealt with, 81 incidents involving highway disruption, such as obstructions caused by fallen trees and signs, or damaged vehicles.

As the windy weather continues, officers are reminding people who come across fallen trees to contact their local council, not the police, unless there is a significant risk to others, or there has been a collision involving injuries.

Some of the incidents police have dealt with so far this afternoon include:

On Quakers Lane in Richmond, a tree fell onto two parked cars and blocked the footpath at about 1.15pm. Officers checked no one was inside the cars, and passed the details to the local authority for them to take clear the blockage.

In Coniston Cold, near Skipton, a very large 'for sale' sign blew over at the roadside at about 1.45pm. A passing PCSO located the sign and was able to clear it away from the carriageway with help from a local farmer.

At 2.15pm, a roads policing officer on patrol came across a tree down on a road at Newburgh, near Coxwold. The tree will need chainsaws to chop up and remove, and traffic was able to get round the blockage, so details were passed to North Yorkshire County Council.

On the A64 near Middlethorpe at York, police checked on a report at 2.20pm that a roofbox had blown off a vehicle. When officers arrived, the roofbox was completely smashed, but safely at the side of the road and not causing an issue for traffic.

At 2.30pm, a tree came down at the junction of the A56 and Old Road, Thornton in Craven, near Skipton. The tree damaged a car, and the driver was hurt, although his injuries are not believed to be serious.

At 2.45pm, a caller reported a "massive" tree down on a blind bend on the A684 at Crakehall, near Bedale. Police passed the details to the local authority, and an officer went to the scene due to the dangerous location and risk to road users.

At 2.50pm, police attended a report of that a roof had blown off a property at Cayton, near Scarborough, and landed on the A165. Officers remained at the scene managing traffic while the fire and rescue service worked to deal with it. It was removed by 3.35pm.

Also at 2.50pm, in Stepney Road, Scarborough, a large branch was spotted dangling precariously over the road. Officers attended to close the road, ensuring children leaving two nearby schools were not at risk, and allowing firefighters to make the tree safe.

At 3pm, a caller reported an uprooted tree pulling on electrical wires at Constable Burton, near Leyburn. A PCSO attended to assess the incident, and details were passed to the power company.

At 3.20pm, a traffic light came loose from the ground and was swinging round by its cable at Byng Road, Catterick Garrison. An officer arrived and was able to secure the light with police tape, so it can be safely repaired later.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "We have been working extremely hard this afternoon, taking calls and ensuring road users across the county stay safe.

"If you come across a fallen tree or sign, you only need to call the police if there is a significant risk to others, or there has been a collision and someone is injured. If that's not the case, please report the obstruction to the local council or Highways England."