Gritters get ready to hit Northamptonshire's roads as temperatures tumble on Tuesday night

Widespread frost expected as thermometers could hit -1°C

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 1:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 1:40 pm
Northants HIghways gritting lorries will get their first run out of the winter tonight

Northamptonshire's gritting crews will hit the roads for the first time this winter as temperatures get set to plummet on Tuesday night.

Highways teams based at Brixworth, Wellingborough and Towcester have been on standby since the beginning of October ready for winter to kick-in.

Widespread frost is expected, particularly in rural areas, overnight with temperatures possibly falling below MINUS ONE.

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Motorways and trunk roads — the M1 and M45, the A14, plus parts of A45, A5 and A43 in the county — are gritted by Highways England.

But that still leaves 1,157 miles of A and B roads for the County Council's 22 gritting lorries to look after and they will be out on pre-planned routes from early-evening on Tuesday.

Northamptonshire has one of the UK's longest gritting routes in the country and individual roads are gritted when forecasts predict temperatures falling below 0.5°C.

County Council cabinet member for highways and place Jason Smithers said recently: “Keeping the county moving during the winter is a huge task and we have to be ready to tackle whatever weather we get.

“But we would always advise that drivers should never assume that a road has been gritted and should drive with caution when there has been a frost.

"Even when a road has received a gritting treatment, the salt requires activation from the movement of vehicles — because a road has been gritted it does not mean that all risk of accident has been eliminated.”

Met Office forecasters predict night-time temperatures will continue to tumble for the rest of the week before the chill eases at the weekend.