As North Devon shivers under sub-zero temperatures residents have been warned to prepare for freezing conditions and the possibility of snow later this week.

The water supply to Lyntyon and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is currently frozen. Picture: LLCRThe water supply to Lyntyon and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is currently frozen. Picture: LLCR

Even the bronze bust of former Barnstaple mayor Charles Willshire on the Square was spotted at the weekend sporting a woolly jumper as some wag took pity on his frozen plight.

Parts of the River Taw also froze at low tide this morning (Monday).

Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway closed today after its water supply froze.

Manager Ashley Clarke said the closure was for safety reasons as the brakes on the railway were water operated.

The beach at Woolacombe was frozen on Monday morning. Picture: Peter SmithThe beach at Woolacombe was frozen on Monday morning. Picture: Peter Smith

He added: “We will review the conditions and temperatures daily and will be open as soon as conditions allow.”

The Cliff Top Café is still open as normal and regular updates will be provided on the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway Facebook page.

Devon County Council has said its fleet of gritters were out and about yesterday and back on the roads today, with road surface temperatures on higher ground possibly falling lower than -6C.

The police have urged motorists to take extra care and ensure their vehicles a mobile phone, warm clothing and food and drink in the event of a break-down.

Gritters will again be treating all main routes across the county this afternoon and will continue to monitor conditions after that, as the sub-zero road temperatures are expected to last until 8am or 9am tomorrow morning.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “We are as prepared as we can be for what could be a prolonged cold spell from Storm Emma.

“We’ve been fortunate so far that it has remained dry during the current cold weather, but that may well change with the potential for snow and wintry showers being forecast later this week. Our gritting teams often have to face severe conditions but they are always committed to doing their utmost to keep Devon’s roads as safe and clear as possible.

“However, please remember that ice can form even on treated roads so I would urge road users to take extreme care, and pedestrians should also take care on pavements.”

Communities are also reminded to check on frail or older neighbours or relatives, especially those living alone or who have serious illnesses to make sure they are safe, warm and well.

The latest weather forecast for Barnstaple is predicting lows of minus two tonight (Monday) with the potential for some snow on Thursday afternoon.

* Have you got any pictures showing North Devon during the big freeze? Send them to us at newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk