DEVON County Council is gearing up for the onset of freezing conditions and possible wintry showers this weekend, and motorists are being advised to take extra care on the county’s roads.
Rain is forecast across the county tomorrow, but once that clears there may be sleet and snow showers on high ground, followed by temperatures dropping below zero overnight on Saturday and into Sunday morning.
With run-off from the rainfall, widespread ice and frost is likely across Devon and the County Council's gritters are expected to be out treating more than 2,000 miles of the county’s primary and secondary salting network in the early hours of Sunday.
The County Council is warning that driving conditions could be hazardous, particular off the main precautionary salting routes, and freezing temperatures are set to continue into next week.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “Our teams are prepared and ready to respond. There is some uncertainty at this stage over how likely it is to snow but we will be monitoring the conditions. We can certainly expect temperatures to tumble over the next few days.
“With roads remaining wet and possible water run-off from fields, particularly on more minor roads, I would urge everyone to be prepared for icy conditions on Sunday morning. Ice can form even form on treated roads, so do take care when travelling.”
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, 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, check to see how they could possibly be helped through the cold spell;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions.
For more information and travel advice visit: www.devon.gov.uk/winter