With many of Cornwall’s roads still suffering the aftermath of last weekend’s floods, a dramatic drop in temperature could see a big freeze settling over the county.
In preparation, staff from CORMAC will carry out salting across Cornwall this evening, however the large amount of surface water and run off from fields means there is a possibility that in some places the salt could wash off and possibly turn to ice. With the potential for icy patches even on treated roads Cornwall Council is motorists to drive carefully.
Precautionary salting will cover 25 routes totalling around 1,400 km (875 miles) of roads, including the most heavily trafficked A and B roads in Cornwall, as well as key sites such as hospitals, minor injury units, ambulance and fire stations, bus stations and secondary schools. This year routes to, and the circulatory system within Liskeard Railway Station, St Austell railway and Bus Station, St Ives Malakof bus station and Penzance Bus Station will also be treated.
Roads to a further 10 health or community centres – Callington, Camborne, Falmouth, Gunnislake, Helston, Mullion, Saltash, St Keverne, Tintagel and Truro will also be treated.
The A30 from the boundary with Devon to Penzance and the A38, which are the main trunk roads through Cornwall, are the responsibility of the Highways Agency.
The Council currently has around 19,500 tonnes of salt ready for use this winter. However it is important to remember that even on pre treated roads salting will not stop heavy snow from settling and sleet, hail and rain can cause problems with the salt being washed off the road. It will also not prevent the formation of black ice when rain falls on sub zero roads.
“The recent heavy rain we have experienced coupled with the freezing temperatures means that the flood water will turn to ice- creating a very difficult situation on the roads” said Jeremy Edwards, the Council’s highway network manager.
“Some of this may well be black ice which will add to the problems for drivers”.
“We can never guarantee that roads will be free of ice and would urge everyone to ensure that they drive according to the existing road and weather conditions. “
The Council has produced a winter driving leaflet containing advice and information on how to drive safely in adverse weather conditions which is available on a special “snow pack” section on the Council’s website- www.cornwall.gov.uk.
Staff from the council’s emergency management service have been working with the police and the voluntary sector to draw up a list of volunteer 4x4 drivers to help transport essential workers such as nurses and doctors and care workers to and from work during a prolonged period of severe weather.
Twitter users can keep an eye on #ccsnow and @cornwallroads for up-to-date-info.