Gritters will be out in force tonight as widespread ice could affect the county’s roads tomorrow morning, Devon County Council is warning.

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Road surface temperatures will drop below freezing right across the county tonight and will be as low as -3 in East and Mid Devon. There is also the possibility of wintry showers on higher ground on Dartmoor and Exmoor.

Gritters will be treating Devon’s main salting network this evening and in the early hours.

With scattered showers continuing until about midnight, surface water and run-off may pose problems. Motorists are being reminded to travel with care, particularly on minor routes.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Flood Prevention, said: “Temperatures are falling much lower this evening and won’t rise until the morning rush hour is underway, so we are urging everyone to take extreme care and allow extra time for your journey. Following a day of showers, and the possibility of slushy wintry showers on higher ground later, driving conditions may be difficult. There may well be icy patches, particularly on minor routes which aren’t treated.”

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 or on Twitter follow @HughHOCC and @Devonroads

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