WEATHER WARNING: Gritter lorries out in force

PUBLISHED: 20:07 25 November 2010

Residents received handy tips ahead of the winter

Residents received handy tips ahead of the winter

Archant

County council urges ‘extreme caution’ as temperatures drop below zero.

GRITTER lorries are out in force across Devon as temperatures fall yet again.

The Met Office has issued a warning of wintry showers of rain, sleet and snow across Devon overnight and into the weekend. The cold snap has raised concerns at the risk of icy patches on roads and motorists are being asked to take extreme care when travelling in the county, as ice can form even on treated roads.

Temperatures dropped to as low as -5C in the East of the county last night andsnow is expected to fall on higher ground later, with snow showers possible overnight on Friday and into the weekend.

With freezing temperatures forecast again tonight, Devon County Council’s fleet of gritters are already out in force across Devon treating around 1,700 miles on all of the county’s 48 salting routes. They will return to most routes between 3am and 4am and then carry out further inspections in the morning.

The Highways Agency’s fleet of gritters has also been out this afternoon treating 170 miles of the strategic road network in the county and is on stand by throughout the night ready to carry out additional runs when needed. The Agency also has snow ploughs ready to deal with any significant accumulations.

Schools across the county have also been alerted to the possibility of snow next week.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “This is the first real threat of snow that we have had this winter and we are as prepared as we can be. Salt barns are full to the brim with 25,000 tonnes of salt and we are as committed as ever to keep Devon moving.

“The forecast for snow is earlier than in the past couple of years, and there is a chance of disruption in the county over the next seven days. I’m sure we have all learnt lessons from the last two harsh winters and I trust that people across Devon are prepared for bad weather and take adequate precautions.’

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