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Coldest night of winter so far: Herts gritters going out twice in 15 hours as road temperatures forecast to drop to -5C

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Gritters are doing salting runs in Hertfordshire on Wednesday afternoon and in the early hours of Thursday as road temperatures are forecast to drop to around -5C (22F) – the coldest night for several years.

Hertfordshire County Council’s fleet of 58 gritters and decision-makers in County Hall's highways team will be ready around the clock to cover nearly half of the county's entire road network – that’s more than 1,500 miles (2,500km), the equivalent of salting from Hertford to Berlin and back.

Gritters are sent out when road surface temperatures are forecast to be 0.5C or below and a hazard is expected. A hoar frost – a frost that brings in moisture – is expected tonight with road temperatures dropping to -5C.

Herts County Council gritters will be out Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning (54102060)
Herts County Council gritters will be out Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning (54102060)

HCC gritters crews went out from 1pm on Wednesday as a road frost during the evening commute was expected. They will be out again at 4am on Thursday (Jan 6) to take account of a second freeze and run-off from fields.

A spokesperson for the council said: "We will, where practical and accessible, grit roads to schools, care homes, doctors’ surgeries, key pharmacies and libraries, as well as all the county’s A and B roads, bus routes (including school bus routes), roads with a 10% gradient or steeper and at least one route into every village.

"All residents can play their part by parking sensibly and not blocking roads."

Herts County Council has a fleet of 58 gritters (54102617)
Herts County Council has a fleet of 58 gritters (54102617)

Cllr Phil Bibby, HCC's executive member for highways and transport, said: “Please remember to always drive to the conditions, especially at this time of year. Just because it doesn’t look like there is ice doesn’t mean the roads are not slippery. If temperatures drop below zero and there's any moisture in the air, they can still be slippery.”

For more information about HCC’s winter service programme, including the routes that are gritted, or to receive real-time updates direct to your computer or phone, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/salting and follow the 'salting decisions' link. You can also find information on how to clear snow and ice yourself.

You can also find out the latest salting decisions by following Herts Highways on Twitter via #grittertwitter.

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