Winter gritters out in force around the county tonight
Gloucestershire County Council is sending its team of gritters out around the county tonight.
For the first time this season, temperatures in Gloucestershire are likely to drop below zero in parts of the county.
Forecasters are predicting very cold spells throughout the weekend with the possibility of ice, especially on higher ground.
While the weather isn't expected to be severe, the council has taken the decision to send the gritters out as a precaution.
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They will be going out around the county from around 11pm this evening, gritting all A, B roads and some C roads and routes to emergency services such as hospitals and fire stations as well as a high proportion of most frequent bus routes.
Jason Humm, Area Highway Manager, said: "We don't want people to worry – we are well prepared for the season and the weather isn't expected to be too bad this weekend, however we are expecting temperatures on the roads below zero overnight so we're gritting to be safe.
"There is the chance of ice on the roads, especially overnight and during the early morning and particularly on higher ground so people should take care if they're out and about."
This year, Gloucestershire County Council is starting the winter with just over 11,000 tonnes of salt following the opening of two new salt domes in Stroudwater and Cannop last year.
In a typical season we carry out between 50 and 60 salt runs, covering 1,100 miles of road – though during severe winters the number of runs can double.
Cllr Will Windsor Clive, cabinet member responsible for roads, said: "Last week we said we were prepared if bad weather was to hit and a week later we're now preparing for our first outing of the year.
"As always, Gloucestershire County Council will do all it can to keep the county moving in bad weather, but I would also encourage people to do their part by driving safely and looking out for their neighbours when it's cold."
Updates will be posted on Twitter via @GlosHighways and @GlosCC. Twitter users can use the hashtag #grittertwitter for the very latest on the highway winter response.