Cold weather advice issued by county council

PUBLISHED: 11:24 18 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:29 10 June 2010

A warning of icy road conditions this afternoon and overnight has been issued to motorists by Devon County Council.

A warning of icy road conditions this afternoon and overnight has been issued to motorists by Devon County Council.

Road temperatures are forecast to drop as low as -6 oC overnight and drivers are being advised that they should take extra care as conditions could become hazardous and ice is expected.

Devon County Council's gritters will be out this afternoon from 2pm and again from 4.30 tomorrow morning, salting the major routes - 20% of the county's 8,000 mile road network.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: "Motorists and pedestrians need to take extra care with the forecast of sub-zero temperatures expected later this afternoon and tomorrow.

"Our gritters will be busy this afternoon ensuring that the major routes have been salted, but even when driving on these roads, motorists must take extreme care. And the remaining 80% of minor untreated roads could be extremely hazardous with ice expected."

Chris Cranston, Devon County Council's Highways Operations Manager, said "Temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing in many places before this evening rush hour, and may not rise above freezing tomorrow morning."

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; Listen to local radio for updates on current conditions; Drive with care and according to the conditions.

The council has been rated the best authority in the country for cold weather gritting and snow clearance in this year's National Highways and Transport Public Satisfaction Survey, and has also been praised by the government for its good examples of winter road maintenance.

Last year almost 16,000 tonnes of salt was used, compared to the usual amount of 10-12,000 tonnes. The council has also received acclaim for its 'Travelling in Winter' leaflet for motorists,

For information on winter driving conditions see www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel

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