Treacherous roads warning

TREACHEROUS slippery roads are set to grip Devon s roads tonight, prompting a warning from the leader of Devon County Council.

TREACHEROUS slippery roads are set to grip Devon's roads tonight, prompting a warning from the leader of Devon County Council.

"Have a night in, save some money and keep warm," said Brian Greenslade this afternoon, as a day of emergency road clearance and school closures drew to a close.

The heavy snow that fell last night across Devon - up to 45cm in some places - will not be repeated in the next 24 hours. But treacherous slippery conditions will grip the county as temperatures plummet around -6 degrees Celsius.

Snow and moisture will coat road surfaces in a layer of ice, and Devon County Council is warning motorists not to travel this evening or overnight unless it is an absolute emergency.

Mr Greenslade said: "We hope that people will take our message seriously - it is going to be extremely dangerous out on the roads tonight and we want everyone to stay put unless it is an emergency. It's a chance to stay in, save some money and, most importantly, stay safe."

Gritters are already out and about treating 2000 miles on the county's salting network and the county Council's 'white out' fleet of snow ploughs and blowers have been working for the last 24 hours to clear roads.

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Freezing temperatures combined with snow mean that all of the county's 48 salting routes, 20% of Devon's road network, are being treated.

Edward Chorlton, Executive Director Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director of Environment, Economy and Culture, said: "This has been the most acutely difficult situation we have experienced in many years and I would like to thank motorists for their patience. We face fresh challenges tonight and cannot stress strongly enough that people should not be out in their cars. Please stay put."

Extra staff have been deployed all day in the County's Highway Operations and Control Centre, which is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to co-ordinate work on the highway network. It is fully equipped to monitor how the weather is affecting the road and uses state-of-the-art technology including radar and satellite images, and a network of roadside ice detectors to provide information on road conditions.