Residents in Derbyshire are urged to be prepared for winter as expert forecasters predict cold temperatures are about to hit the county.
Latest Met Office weather reports indicate that temperatures look likely to drop later this week, meaning a higher risk of frost and more challenging driving conditions.
Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, Councillor Dean Collins, said: “Winter conditions can vary greatly from year to year and can change at very short notice, so it’s always best to be prepared with some basic equipment, warm clothing and some food and drink.
“The council and its gritting teams work extremely hard day and night to keep our roads clear every winter and keep the county safe and moving. We understand that sometimes it may not always be possible to park in the most ideal spot, particularly when there maybe unexpected or overnight snowfall. But we ask that drivers keep an eye on weather forecasts and consider if they have parked sensibly on all kinds of roads if snow is predicted, so they remain passable for gritters and emergency vehicles.
“The council also provides grit bins for residents to use to help spread grit on public roads and footpaths within their local communities, although we would remind people this grit isn’t for use on private driveways.”
Motorists are also urged to park responsibly during snow and ice keeping the roads clear for gritting and emergency vehicles to pass.
The county council grits around half of the 3,300 miles of road it looks after.
The county council says major roads including A roads, heavily-used B roads, key bus routes, roads linking towns and larger villages and roads outside bus, train, police, fire, ambulance stations and hospitals are gritted during the day and night when necessary and are pre-gritted before bad weather hits.
Other roads that are gritted include bus routes in residential areas and well-used main roads through housing estates and villages and roads to smaller villages.
These roads are on what is known as ‘secondary’ gritting routes and are generally only treated in the day because they tend to be residential roads carrying much less traffic.
When possible, secondary routes are treated before adverse weather hits, but they are less of a priority than roads on primary routes.
Some other roads, generally in rural areas, may also be cleared of snow by local farmers and other contractors.
Volunteers also help to clear snow and ice from pavements and footpaths, and put down grit in their local communities, as part of the council’s Snow Warden Scheme.
Details of gritting routes, how to request a grit bin for use on public roads and footpaths and other winter driving advice can be found at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/snow
Safety tips ahead of winter months:
• Check the latest weather and travel information
• Make sure windscreens are properly defrosted, mirrors and lights are clear of snow and ice, wipers are working properly and the radiator has the correct amount of water and anti-freeze
• Check the battery is in good condition and fully-charged and there’s more than enough fuel for the journey
• Make sure tyre pressure is correct and considering fitting winter tyres for greater grip
• Carry a shovel, ice scraper, torch, wellington boots, warm clothes and for longer journeys packing food and a hot drink.