MOTORISTS have been advised to avoid unnecessary journeys today as snow covered Essex last night.

Around 10cm of snow fell with temperatures dropping to near -3 C.

The Met Office put Colchester and Tendring on amber alert, the second highest weather warning.

Stansted Airport briefly shut its runway during the night.

Essex County Council sent gritters out at 3pm and 8pm last night (Febuary 4) and again at midnight and 4am this morning.

The main routes are moving but traffic this morning was moving on one track.

First bus service has adapted its route in Dovercourt as abandoned cars on Fronk's Road has made the road inpassable.

The bus operater is diverting its route from Fronk's Road to travel down Main Road to transport its passengers.

Bus services were operating as normal around Colchester and Clacton.

Passengers are advised to keep up to date wth changes on First's twitter page @FirstEastBuses.

Trains travelling locally and to London are currently operating as normal.

Passengers travelling today are advised to check for realtime service updates.

Police have warned residents to make sure their windscreen and windows are clear before setting off.

Passengers should take a shovel, warm clothing, flask with a hot drink and a fully charged mobile phone if embarking on a longer journey.

Snow began falling in Colchester at around 10pm and continued throughout the early hours of this morning.

Send your photos of the snow today in Colchester and the Tendring district to and they could be printed in tomorrow's Gazette.