A warning has been issued over the risk of snow and ice across Devon this evening and people in the county are being advised to take extra care when travelling.
Temperatures have remained low throughout today and while this evening is not forecast to be as cold as last night, the Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for widespread ice and wintry showers which could cause disruption from 6pm tonight until midday tomorrow.
Road surface temperatures are set to fall as low as -5C this evening and following multiple treatments by our gritting teams yesterday, gritters will again be out on all of the county’s main precautionary gritting routes this afternoon and also at 2am.
Around 14 miles of cycle routes around Exeter will also be treated this evening, and volunteer snow wardens across Devon have been advised to be prepared to treat their priority routes in their local communities.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“The combination of wet roads becoming icy and now the possibility of snow showers is potentially a hazardous mix for anyone out and about on roads, cycleways and footways. Roads where surface water has been running off of adjacent land can be treacherous, so I can’t stress enough to motorists to slow down. Travelling through water on the highway at higher speeds sends water further along the road which then freezes and causes additional problems.
“Every effort is always made to keep Devon moving and while some salt will remain on the road from yesterday’s gritting, our gritter drivers will be out again overnight carrying out multiple treatments on main routes. We would encourage everyone to be aware, keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared if you are travelling. Please remember that ice can still form on roads which have been treated so take extra care.”
We’re reminding everyone of the following advice:
• 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;
• Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front;
• 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 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.