Residents are being urged to take extra care on Hertfordshire’s highways as the county is expected to plunge into sub-zero temperatures from tonight.
Over the next few days the county is going to experience some extreme and unusually low road surface temperatures, predicted to go as low as -9.5 overnight tonight.
When road temperatures drop below -5.0, whilst salt is still the best defence against the formation of snow and ice on our roads, it becomes less effective.
Any residents who have to make essential journeys, in accordance with current lockdown restrictions, should allow extra time, reduce speed and avoid harsh breaking.
Urging extreme caution, Councillor Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment said: “During these exceedingly cold temperatures, please avoid driving, unless it’s absolutely necessary and in accordance with the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
“If you do have to make an essential journey, remember to always drive according to the conditions; the roads may look dry at these low temperatures, but invisible ice can still form and surfaces can become very slippery, despite being gritted.
“Allow extra time for journeys and reduce speeds, as well as sudden breaking, to ensure you travel as safely as possible in these hazardous conditions.”
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home, unless you are travelling for essential and permitted reasons such as to your local shop or place of work.
So far in February Hertfordshire County Council’s gritting crews have been out 12 times, well over the seasonal average, using their highest spread rate due to the lower road temperatures this year (normally at this time of year the crews would be operating at the lower spread rate).
Since Sunday the team has been out 10 times on precautionary or primary routes, clocking up the following:
3,000 tonnes of grit
15,580 miles driven
With breaks each driver has driven 25 hours, covering a distance two and a half times as long as the Great Wall of China, four times the length of the Amazon River and five times the distance from London to New York.
For more details on how we keep the roads clear of snow and ice during the winter months, visit: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/salting