Lancashire County Council’s gritting teams will be out in force tonight (Monday 3 February) following a forecast for icy roads, and some sleet and snow on higher routes.
Road conditions are expected to be changeable, with brisk westerly winds bringing a mixture of showers, cloud and clear spells. The forecast is for freezing temperatures at times to result in icy conditions, with sleet and snow also falling over higher ground.
Lancashire’s highways teams will be gritting all routes in the east and north, with crews staying on to treat them throughout the early hours. A number of routes in the south and west of the county will also be gritted, but local forecasts are predicting that temperatures will stay above freezing on other routes.
County Coun Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It’s been a fairly mild winter so far, but this is the second time in a week our gritting teams have been called on to deal with sleet and snow on the higher routes.
“Conditions are expected to differ quite significantly across the county, and situations like this are where we rely on our weather stations and local forecasts to make decisions on which routes we need to treat. Where there is uncertainty due to changeable conditions, we will constantly monitor the situation to allow us to respond as quickly as possible if we need to.
“However where freezing temperatures and showers are expected this could mean roads becoming icy tonight and in the morning, and I’d ask drivers to take care and leave extra time for their journeys.
“It’s important to remember that roads can remain icy even after they’ve been gritted, as it takes the action of traffic to mix the salt with the ice before it becomes fully effective.
“I’d also ask people to be careful where they park tonight as our gritters have frequent problems getting through on some routes due to inconsiderate parking, which could lead to more difficult conditions on some roads than would be the case if we were able to grit them.”
Lancashire County Council has a fleet of 45 frontline gritters which can treat the 1,500 miles of the county council’s priority road network within around four hours, but may take longer in severe conditions.
For more information about gritting in Lancashire, and what you can do to prepare for winter, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter, follow us on Twitter for news and updates at www.twitter.com/lancashirecc or Facebook www.facebook.com/lancashirecc.