Icy blast could bring more problems tomorrow

Joseph Bulmer

North Devon warned to continue to take care as freezing temperatures and possibly more snow showers forecast

MORE disruption is expected across the region tomorrow (Tuesday) as freezing conditions and wintry showers strike again overnight, Devon County Council has warned.

Snowfall has eased considerably throughout the day but driving remains almost impossible on many roads, especially untreated ones.

The Met Office has forecast a widespread frost, with temperatures reaching as low as minus five degrees centigrade tonight, and a warning has been issued for icy roads tomorrow morning.

Gritters have been working continuously throughout the day and will be treating 1,700 miles of the main roads around the county this evening and in the early hours.

The Highways Agency’s fleet of gritters will also be out treating 170 miles, of the strategic road network in the county. The Agency also has snow ploughs ready to deal with any significant accumulations.

The A361 North Devon Link Road was closed earlier but re-opened before midday after four ploughs and eight gritters worked to clear the road.

Chief Inspector Chris Booty said: “We are seeing an improving picture but the advice remains the same – do not drive unless your journey is critical.

“Even as the roads have been cleared and become passable, with caution, there are a number of broken down vehicles and lorries jack–knifing which is posing an additional hazard to road users.

“The police have worked hard throughout the early hours along with Devon County Council and the Highways Agency and we continue to do so. Thank you to motorists who had heeded the advice and stayed at home which made the joint response much easier.

“Of course we can never control the weather but with the correct planning we can minimise disruption to residents and drivers but please remember to be patient and only undertake the most essential of journeys.”

Motorists are reminded of the following advice:

* Avoid all but essential/critical journeys. If you have to travel, drive according to the conditions.

* Never assume a road has been salted. Remember that in extreme cold even salting will not stop ice from forming.

* Allow additional time for your journey and reduce your speed.

* If you have vulnerable or elderly neighbours, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell.

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

For more information and travel advice visit: www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel.