It must officially be winter now, as Devon County Council’s gritters have been out in force for the first time this season.

Commuters are getting their ice-scrapers out again this morning (Tuesday) as they wake up to another frosty start.

Yesterday proved a chilly started but road surface temperatures dropped even lower last night.

And after defrsoting your vehicle, you’ll see Devon County Council’s gritters were out in force on the roads all across the county.

Temperatures this morning were lower than -2’C in North Devon and may not get above freezing until 9am.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The overnight frost [on Monday night] may have taken some people by surprise as we’ve almost gone straight from summer into winter.

“With low road surface temperatures again tonight, I would encourage people to take extra care when travelling this morning.

“We saw last winter how quickly conditions can change but our teams are always ready to respond – and we also have the vital support of volunteer snow wardens.

“It’s impossible to grit Devon’s entire road network as it’s the biggest of any local authority in the country – but our precautionary primary and secondary gritting routes cover around 2,000 miles of the busiest roads. “More than 3,000 grit bins across the county have also been checked and filled in preparation for this winter.”

Around 25,000 tonnes of salt are stored in the County Council’s depots, ready for the onset of winter.

Last winter just under 23,000 tonnes was used - covering a distance of over 241,000 km across the county. In an average winter around 13,000 tonnes of salt are used treating Devon’s roads.

The County Council has a network of 35 roadside ice detectors at strategic locations to help monitor conditions such as road surface temperatures.

There are 325 snow wardens in towns and parishes across Devon.

The network of volunteers, who are part of the council’s winter self-help scheme, treat priority routes in their community in the event of prolonged severe weather.