Gritters out in force across Devon

Gritters

Posted on: 7 December 2017

Devon’s gritters will be out in force this evening and overnight with the possibility of snow showers and icy conditions forecast.

There is a chance of up to 5cm of snow on higher ground, and the County Council’s 37 frontline gritters will be treating all of Devon’s main salting routes.

In some cases they will be carrying out repeated treatments, some of them up to three times on routes covering Dartmoor and Exmoor, which will be salted at around 6pm, midnight and 5am.

Conditions will be monitored throughout the night and into tomorrow morning to see if further treatments are needed on all routes.

Road surface temperatures won’t be as low as in recent cold spells, but they will be sub-zero in large parts of the county. However, the mix of wintry showers and freezing roads could create a number of potential hazards including icy roads.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Our winter service teams are preparing as they normally would to deal with this latest cold spell, which could last for a few days now. While there may be a chance of snow showers overnight and throughout tomorrow, ice could well be a bigger problem if rain, sleet or snow falls onto freezing roads. Our teams will be out in difficult conditions, treating our main gritting routes to keep Devon moving. They can’t grit every road, and minor roads could be hazardous.

“It’s worth remembering that ice can even form on treated roads, so please do take extra care when driving tomorrow. Devon’s army of Snow Warden volunteers should be aware of the potential for some snow to lay on higher ground over the next 36 hours, but should also be prepared for a period of cold weather with the potential for ice and possibly further snow at times.”

The County Council is reminding people 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 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;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications.

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

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