Gritters out as temperatures plummet

16:44 09 January 2014

Archant

Council warns of possible icy roads across the county.

GRITTERS will be heading out across Devon this evening and people are being reminded by Devon County Council to be aware of the possibility of icy conditions.

Road surface temperatures are expected to drop below zero overnight on Exmoor and may fall close to or below freezing across the rest of the county.

Gritters will be treating most of Devon’s main salting network overnight, with some routes being treated twice.

With surface water and run-off still affecting the county’s roads, the county council is warning that conditions may be difficult.

Motorists are being urged to travel with care, particularly on minor routes which may be off the salting network.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “Although it’s forecast to be drier than it has been there will still be the odd shower, which could cause problems with temperatures dropping below freezing.

“Of course, the roads are still wet and run-off from fields will add further complications in some areas, so there may well be a risk of ice from around midnight.

“Conditions could be difficult until it starts to warm up after about 8am tomorrow morning, and remember ice can even affect roads which have been salted.

“I would urge everyone to take extreme care when out and about and avoid overnight travel if possible.”

Motorists are being reminded of the following advice:

• Avoid overnight travel unless absolutely essential as roads will always be more hazardous at night with less traffic and colder temperatures;

• Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that showers or rain will wash salt off roads leaving them prone to ice, and in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming;

• Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed;

• Drive with care and according to the conditions;

• If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, check to see how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;

• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions.

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