Gritters out on Devon's roads this weekend as forecasters warn of snow and ice
Travel disruption is expected across Devon this weekend as forecasters warn of plummeting temperatures and the possibility of widespread snow and ice.
Devon County Council is urging residents and motorists to be prepared for disruption caused by adverse weather on Friday and Saturday.
The council’s gritting team will be on standby over the weekend to salt the region’s road network where necessary.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “I would urge everyone to take extra care on the county’s roads and footways.
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“Our highways teams are prepared for the possibility of snow and ice and gritters will be responding as required to treat our precautionary salting routes. Every effort is always made to keep highways as clear as possible and keep Devon moving, however people are travelling.
“The combination of rain, sleet or snow, and freezing temperatures could make travelling conditions hazardous, particularly on more minor roads.
“At this stage we would urge everyone to be aware, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared if you are travelling. And remember that ice can even form on roads which have been treated."
Early forecasts suggest a band of rain is moving in from the South West overnight on Thursday, possibly turning to wintry showers as it hits colder air. Road surface temperatures are expected to drop to -4 which could result in icy and hazardous driving conditions.
Higher ground in East Devon, Dartmoor and Exmoor could be worst affected with the risk of between 5cm and 10cm of snow. Rain and snow could clear on Saturday before another band of rain moves into the county on Sunday.
Devon County Council’s army of more than 260 volunteer snow wardens are also being asked to be on alert and are being kept informed of the forecast to determine when they need to engage their self-help plans.
Devon County Council, Highways Agency and Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed they would be on alert to respond should conditions worsen.
Devon County Council has issued the following advice to residents and motorists:
• 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.
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