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WATCH: Cornwall's gritters out in full force

WATCH: Cornwall's gritters out in full force

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 4:10pm 30th November 2017.

The gritters are out on Cornwall's roads again as the cold snap bites.

An ice warning was even issued by the Met Office for overnight on Wednesday as things got chilly.

But have you ever wondered how and when the Duchy's gritters are sent out? Well it turns out there's a fleet of 25 vehicles.

So far this year gritters have been sent out across Cornwall on six occasions to carry out precautionary gritting, treating our roads using 800 tonnes of salt in the process.

That's the equivalent of salting from Land's End to John O'Groats and back three times.

By liaising closely with the weather forecaster, and taking readings from the 11 roadside sensors located across Cornwall which measure temperatures and other roadside factors, Cormac can assess when precautionary treatment may be required.

If there is a likelihood of ice or snow, 25 gritters are sent out to cover over 900 miles of the busiest A and B roads on the Council's 4,530 miles (7,250 kilometre) network and keep Cornwall's key roads to hospitals, secondary schools, train and bus stations clear.

Geoff Brown, the Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "Our gritters will be out there making sure we're prepared for freezing temperatures.

"We want to ensure residents can get on with their day-to-day activities with minimal disruption and that people can get to and from home or work safely.

"If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, please also keep an eye on them during the cold weather.

"Cornwall Council's Winter Wellbeing may be able to provide assistance if they need help heating their home or just some extra support - call 0800 954 1956 for more information."

Drivers are also urged to take precautions to make their drive safer by planning their journey, making sure their vehicle is in full working order, carrying additional equipment, and driving according to the conditions.

The latest weather forecast predicts further scattered showers on Thursday afternoon, possibly turning wintry over the high ground.

It will then turn mostly clear and cold through this evening and overnight with further scattered showers , some of which could be wintry with some sleet.

Road temperatures will drop below zero with risk of hoar frost and icy patches.

It is expected to be bright and largely dry on Friday, with sunny spells although the temperature will continue to be cold.


Driving in snow and ice:

Take it slow – with stopping distances 10 times longer, gentle manoeuvres are the key to safe driving in ice and snow.
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
  • Uphill – leave plenty of room or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part way up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
  • Downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can to the car in front.
  • If you have to use your brakes, apply them gently.
  • If you drive an Automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.
  • If you do get stuck, straighten the steering and clear the snow from the wheels. Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give the tyres some grip.

Read more advice from the AA here, including how to prepare your car for winter driving.

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