Devon prepared for possible snow showers

Photo of a gritting lorry

Posted on: 27 February 2018

Devon is braced for potential snow showers from the early hours of tomorrow morning (Wednesday 28 February) and motorists are being warned to be aware of possible disruption on the county’s roads.

Devon County Council, Highways England and Devon and Cornwall Police will be activating the Haldon/Telegraph Hill Plan overnight, deploying staff to the forward control point in the early hours with gritters, snow ploughs and tractors on hand, should they be needed, prior to the morning peak period.

Forecasts suggest that wintry shows could hit South Devon from midnight onwards and throughout tomorrow morning.

Road surface temperatures are again expected to be verging on -7C in some parts of the county, and gritters will be out on all of Devon’s salting routes overnight tonight and early tomorrow – covering around 2,000 miles of the county’s roads.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “From the information that we have, it appears that while any snow showers are likely to be hit and miss, where it does fall could be significant. South of Exeter, including Haldon Hill and Telegraph Hill, are in the highest risk area for snow, so we would urge people to avoid any unnecessary journeys. If you need to travel, please do take extra care. Plan your journey and check out updates on local radio and TV travel bulletins and also keep an eye on @DevonAlert on Twitter before setting out.”

Highways England Network Operations Manager Rob Llewellyn said: “Highways England is working closely with Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police to ensure everything possible is being done to prepare for severe weather. Our gritters are out treating our routes around the clock but it is still important to drive to the conditions when snow is forecast and we advise drivers to check the latest weather and traffic reports before setting out and decide if their journey is absolutely necessary if conditions worsen.”

Sgt Paul Kearton, of the Alliance Operations Planning Department, said: “Motorists across Devon and Cornwall are urged to take extra care in the weather conditions expected over the coming days. We would advise the public to drive to conditions of the road, slow down, keep your distance and keep an eye on weather reports. If you have to travel, carry additional warm clothing/footwear, food, drink, a charged mobile phone, and ensure your vehicle has a full tank of fuel, and all fluids are topped up.”

The Met Office has also issued an amber warning for the possibility of more widespread snow and ice on Thursday and Friday.

Local residents 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, think about how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. NHS Choices has more information on staying healthy during cold weather;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications
• Check out any school closures and sign up for alerts for any school by clicking on ‘Alert Me’.

For more information and travel advice from Devon County Council visit: www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment