Warning of icy conditions

Photo of a gritting lorry

Posted on: 21 January 2021

A warning of icy roads has been issued by Devon County Council as freezing temperatures are forecast overnight and into tomorrow morning (Friday 22 January).

Gritters will be carrying out two treatments on most routes of the County Council’s precautionary salting network overnight. However, the amount of recent rain over the past 24 hours has left running water across some roads, particularly valley roads, including the A377 and the A396 north of Tiverton, which could create challenging driving conditions.

Road surface temperatures are set to drop to almost -4C in some parts of the county, and they are likely to remain below zero until around 9am tomorrow.

There is also the chance of scattered wintry showers falling on frozen roads on higher ground. Untreated roads could be particularly hazardous.

Photo of Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “Storm Christoph brought a huge amount of rainfall across the county yesterday, and with temperatures now falling so sharply while that water is still around, everyone needs to be alert to the possibility of icy conditions overnight and into tomorrow morning.

“Our gritting teams will be doing everything they can overnight but they can only treat around a quarter of our 8,000 mile highway network, and untreated roads may well be icy. It’s also worth remembering that ice can form even on treated roads. For those who are making essential journeys tomorrow morning, I would urge you to leave yourself plenty of time and please take extra care.”

The County Council is reminding people of the following advice:

• 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 always stop ice from forming;
• Avoid overnight travel where possible, as road conditions are less easily identified;
• 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 is available from Devon County Council’s winter travel webpages or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert

Posted in: Environment