Devon motorists told to be careful

MOTORISTS are being urged to take extra care when driving this evening and overnight.

MOTORISTS are being urged to take extra care when driving this evening and overnight.

Ice and snow are again forecast and temperatures across the county are expected to drop below freezing at around 5pm this evening which could make driving conditions extremely hazardous.

Devon County Council's fleet of 84 gritters are this afternoon carrying out another salting of the major routes on the pre-salting network, covering 1,650 miles.

They will then continue onto secondary routes into some other smaller communities. Inspections will be carried out at 10pm and 3:30am to see if any further action is needed.

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "With the forecast of an early freeze, particularly around rush hour, motorists must take extra care.

"Devon County Council's highways teams and South West Highways have been doing everything possible to stay on top of the roads for the past couple of days and they have been working non-stop today to keep roads open to traffic.

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"Even when driving on roads that have been salted, it must be done with extreme care, and pedestrians must also be wary on footways."

The majority of roads across the county are passable with extreme care, due to the continued effort of Devon County Council teams throughout today (Monday).

They have repeatedly treated all of the pre-salting network, covering 20% of Devon's highway network, as well as salting secondary routes across Devon.

North Devon was hardest hit by the conditions, especially the roads on the west of Exmoor such as the A39, which is now passable but still requires extreme care. Drivers who may have abandoned their vehicles last night are being advised to collect them as soon as possible, to keep access to routes clear for gritters.

Pedestrians are also being warned to be cautious, even if the footway has been gritted. And with potential for more snow later this week, residents across the county are being warned to remain patient and vigilant.

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.