‘Coldest night so far this winter’ warning

PUBLISHED: 15:45 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:12 20 January 2016

Archant

Gritters get ready for freezing temperatures as lows of -6.3C expected in East Devon.

Devon County Council’s gritting teams are preparing for the coldest night of the season so far - with the forecast of a county-wide freeze overnight.

Road surface temperatures are set to drop below freezing across Devon from early evening, with lows of -6.3C expected in East Devon.

It will be dry tonight with the chance of localised mist patches developing and sub zero temperatures may last more than 16 hours in some areas, continuing until 10am tomorrow.

More than 2,000 miles of Devon’s roads are being treated today as secondary salting routes were treated earlier in anticipation of the forecast conditions.

Main salting routes will be treated this afternoon and again at 3am, in time for the morning rush hour, while an additional treatment has already been applied on the highest routes over Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highway management, said: “We’re expecting another cold night, just as we had at the end of last week, so everyone should be prepared for the possibility of waking up to frosty and icy conditions. Every effort has been made to keep the main gritting routes dry, but there may still be icy patches.

“Our gritting teams are again busy on the precautionary salting network. We have the biggest road network of any local authority in the country so we can only treat around a quarter of our roads, but they are the main roads which carry around 80% of the traffic. Roads which aren’t treated could be icy, and remember that ice can still form on treated roads so I would urge everyone to take extra care when travelling, particularly overnight and in the early hours of the morning.”

Motorists are 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;

• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions.

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

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