Devon County Council warns of snow forecast for early hours

NORTH Devon is preparing to face the possibility of snow tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

The whole of the county is facing the prospect of waking up to snow flurries moving in from the east from around 5am, Devon County Council and the Met Office have warned.

The Met Office has advised some areas could receive up to two centimetres and some localised areas, particularly over higher ground such as Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills, could see up to five cm in the morning.

With road surface temperatures expected to drop to -7C tonight, there is a risk of hoar frost and icy roads. The County Council’s gritters will be covering around 1,700 miles of its main salting network on Devon’s major roads starting between 4- 8pm this evening.

The areas most at risk will also be treated overnight at 4am. All secondary routes into smaller communities have also been treated over the past 24 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.

“Devon’s entire road network is passable with care, but icy conditions are being reported on the minor roads which are not treated,” said

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation.

“It’s also important to remember ice can form even on roads which have been salted. At the moment we’re lucky conditions have stayed fairly dry. However, with the possibility of heavy snow coming in the early hours of tomorrow, motorists need to plan accordingly and drive with extreme care.”

Malcolm Roberts, Highways Agency Area Performance Manager, added: “We would also advise drivers to check the weather and travel reports for the latest information before setting out and decide if there journey is necessary if severe conditions are forecast or weather conditions have worsened.”

Schools across the county have also been alerted to the possibility of snow. Schools can keep up to date with any closures by logging on to www.devonschoolclosures.info.

Motorists are 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, 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