Devon’s gritters heading out as temperatures fall

Photo of a gritter at a gritting depot

Posted on: 29 October 2018

Devon’s gritters were out in force over the weekend after being called out for the first time this season.

With road surface temperatures set to drop even lower tonight, Devon County Council’s gritters will be out across the county’s main roads again from 7pm this evening (Monday 29 October) and then monitoring conditions overnight.

Temperatures are due to fall below -3C on Dartmoor tonight and are expected to be lower than -2C in northern Devon and the South Hams, and they may not get above freezing until after 9am tomorrow.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The overnight frost last 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 overnight or tomorrow 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. Find out more about the County Council’s snow warden scheme or contact Parish Council representatives who can liaise with their local Neighbourhood Highway Officer.

More information and winter travel advice from Devon County Council is available here or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment