Road warning as icy spell continues

PUBLISHED: 17:09 06 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:08 17 June 2010

AS TEMPERATURES continue to drop Devon County Council is warning Sidmouth drivers to take extra care when travelling. On Monday road temperatures fell to -8.5c across some parts of Devon which led to several car crashes. Isolated icy patches and fractured

AS TEMPERATURES continue to drop Devon County Council is warning Sidmouth drivers to take extra care when travelling.

On Monday road temperatures fell to -8.5c across some parts of Devon which led to several car crashes.

Isolated icy patches and fractured water mains are also leading to localised problems on the road.

The council has been regularly treating the major county roads since Christmas and whenever winter hazards are expected on the network.

Around 20 per cent of the road network is treated, leaving minor roads exposed to ice and frost.

Even the roads that are treated cannot be guaranteed to be frost or ice free as the salt relies on vehicles travelling over it to take effect and rain can remove the salt in places.

This exceptionally cold winter compared to recent years has meant the council has used significantly more salt than for the same time in previous years - 8,076 tonnes compared to 3,711 at the same time last year.

Councillor Margaret Rogers said: "Staff are always on standby around the county to respond as required along with our contractor South West Highways, who undertake the salting when instructed.

"But even with this pro-active approach it is not always possible to beat all the weather conditions that occur and the recent events show how the travelling public must always be aware of the weather conditions and travel with extreme care on the highway network."

The Council has issued the following advice to road users:

· Allow extra time for your journey and reduce your speed

· Stopping distances are very much longer in winter conditions

· When visibility is poor due to rain, fog and snow use dipped headlights - see and be seen

· Watch out for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders - they can be difficult to see in bad conditions

· In fog, you think you are travelling slower than you really are - slow down and do not use tail lights of the vehicle in front as a guide

· Give snow ploughs and gritters plenty of room - be patient, do not follow close behind

For further travel advice visit www.devon.gov.uk/winter_travel.htm.


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