Environment

Devon preparing for an icy Monday morning

Photo of overturned gritter at Holne

Posted on: 24 January 2021

Snow showers and freezing conditions swept across Devon in the early hours of this morning and Devon County Council is warning of a significant risk of ice on Devon’s roads, particularly into tomorrow (Monday 25 January) morning.

Devon’s fleet of gritters have been working around the clock to treat the County Council’s salting network, but the authority is urging people to avoid all but essential travel.

Gritting will continue throughout today ahead of an anticipated drop in road surface temperatures to as low as -8C across Devon overnight tonight. Conditions are expected to be hazardous for anyone travelling on Monday morning, and there is a severe risk of ice on untreated roads.

During operations last night, a Devon County Council gritter over-turned near Holne on Dartmoor, highlighting the treacherous conditions. The driver was shaken by the incident but was unharmed. The vehicle has been recovered and the road re-opened.

The county’s army of around 325 snow warden volunteers were alerted by the County Council ahead of the forecast snow fall, and many of them will have been putting their local plans into operation.

Devon County Council is also working closely with Highways England and Devon and Cornwall Police. Additional resources were deployed to Haldon/Telegraph Hill, and ploughing was carried out on the A380 before 4am to keep the road clear of snow.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “I would urge everyone to please avoid travel unless absolutely essential; do not travel to find snow, and stick to the COVID-19 guidance to stay close to home. The incident with one of our gritters shows how hazardous conditions can be for everyone, and it’s a reminder of the selfless efforts put in by gritting teams to keep the rest of us safe. Our thanks go to them and also to our snow warden volunteers who have been out treating their community’s priority routes.

“Everyone is working extremely hard to ensure more salt is spread on our salting network ahead of very cold temperatures this evening, which will create a significant ice hazard on Monday morning rush hour. Please take extra care, wrap up warm and stay safe.”

The County Council is reminding people of the following advice:

• Take extreme care if travelling on Monday morning – there is significant risk from widespread ice;

• 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;

• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;

• Drive with care and according to the conditions.

For more information and travel advice visit Devon County Council’s winter travel webpages or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

Posted in: Community | DCC Homepage | Environment