Employers urged to let staff leave early as gritters work around the clock again on Devon's roads

PUBLISHED: 16:22 23 December 2009 | UPDATED: 00:43 16 June 2010

Employers urged to let staff leave early as gritters work around the clock again on Devon's roads. Employers are being urged to let staff leave early today as Devon County Council s highways teams continue to work around the clock to keep the county's roads clear

Employers urged to let staff leave early as gritters work around the clock again on Devon's roads

Employers are being urged to let staff leave early today as Devon County Council's highways teams continue to work around the clock to keep the county's roads clear.

Gritters will be out and about treating 1,650 miles on the County's salting network. Freezing temperatures combined will rain mean that all of the county's 48 salting routes, 20% of Devon's road network, will be treated. Road temperatures have barely got above zero Celsius today and they are expected to drop to as low as minus 4 in places overnight.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member responsible for highways and transportation said: "We are urging drivers to only make journeys if they are absolutely necessary, particularly tonight and tomorrow morning.

"Local employers should also consider allowing their staff to leave work earlier today to get home as soon as possible before nightfall to avoid the deteriorating conditions. As it is the season of goodwill employers should also consider allowing their staff to arrive later tomorrow morning after conditions start to improve."

Gritters will head out from 3pm this afternoon with 180 tonnes of salt for the salting network. A repeat coverage of the main network will be carried out later from 8pm and then again at 5am tomorrow morning.

Chris Cranston, Devon County Council's Highway Operations Control Centre Manager, said: "The combination of rainfall and freezing temperatures today will cause challenging conditions on the network this evening and tomorrow morning. The whole of the county is expected to be affected and we would urge people to drive with care if they have to travel at all."

Extra staff have been deployed in the County's Highway Operations and Control Centre, which is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to co-ordinate work on the highway network. It is fully equipped to monitor how the weather is affecting the road and uses state-of-the-art technology including radar and satellite images, and a network of roadside ice detectors to provide information on road conditions.

Devon County Council is responsible for 8,000 miles of roads - the biggest network of any local authority in the country.

Motorists are being 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. In very cold weather even salting will not stop ice from forming;

*Allow extra time for your journey and reduce your speed;

*Drive with care and according to the conditions.


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