GRITTERS will be taking to the roads of Cornwall tonight as road temperatures are forecast drop to below zero with a risk of hoar frost and icy patches.

Cornwall Council and Cormac say they will have 25 gritters avaialble tonight to keep keep key roads open.

The latest weather forecast predicts further scattered showers this 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.

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 – 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.

Residents can get up-to-date information on gritting by following @Cormacltd on Twitter.