Devon’s gritting teams are gearing up for the possibility of snow showers later tonight (Monday 8 February).
Extremely cold conditions are expected to continue all week and there is a risk of up to 5cm of snow over the next 24 hours, with flurries most likely in the east of the county.
Road surface temperatures are expected to fall to as low as -7C this evening, the lowest so far this winter.
Devon’s gritters have treated secondary routes already today, and the main salting routes will be treated this afternoon and again in the early hours.
Snow Warden volunteers across the county have also been put on alert by the County Council in case they need to grit their priority routes.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “It’s bitterly cold and is set to stay that way throughout this week so our gritter drivers will be working extremely hard over the next few days. The east of Britain is already bearing the brunt of this latest snowfall, but the forecast is showing that those showers could work their way towards Devon.
“At this stage it’s difficult to say if any snow we might get will be enough to cause disruption, but we need to be as prepared as we can be, which is why our gritters are carrying out multiple treatments. Conditions may be drier than they were, but untreated routes could still be hazardous, particularly if there is still some water run-off around. Please take extra care if you’re out an about.”
Devon County Council is reminding people 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, and road conditions are less easily identified;
• 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;
• Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long-term illness or are 65 or over. The NHS website has more information on staying healthy during cold weather;
• Listen to local radio for updates on current weather conditions and ensure you are stocked with food and medications.
For more information and travel advice from Devon County Council visit: www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel or for updates on Twitter follow @DevonAlert