Derbyshire gritting teams will be out on the roads trying to keep the county’s roads moving as temperatures are set to drop to the lowest in two years over the next few days.
Road surface temperatures are set to remain below freezing into next week, with the weekend being cold but dry and bright.
The current forecast for the road surface temperature for Monday night and Tuesday morning is -10 degrees Celsius.
Councillor Dean Collins, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure said: “We’ve got plenty of grit in stock and we’ll be closely monitoring the weather over the weekend.
“We look at the weather forecast and we’ve got road temperature sensors which help us to make decisions about when we go out to grit.
“We grit around 1,555 miles of roads – around half the roads we look after which is more than most councils.
“However we don’t grit all roads in the county so we’re urging people to take care when they are out and about, particularly at night when the temperatures fall. Grit is also less effective when road surface temperatures fall below -5 degrees Celsius.
“In some places water running off the surrounding fields onto roads can also cause problems, so again we are urging people to take care on the roads.”
And as the level three cold weather alert has issued by the Met Office for the East Midlands today, the NHS is also warning residents to stay safe.
Health chiefs at NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging people to stock up on food and medicine essentials, keep warm indoors, take care when walking on icy or wet surfaces and to look out for others who are potentially more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather.
This is because the expected ‘severe cold weather’ could increase health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.
Dr Ben Milton, chair of NHS North Derbyshire CCG and GP at Darley Dale Medical Centre, said: “The impact severe cold weather can have on our health is often underestimated, but by taking a few simple measures the effects can be minimised. If you are particularly vulnerable to the effects of severe weather, ensuring you are stocked with food and medications in advance can make all the difference as it means that you can keep safe indoors until the bad weather has passed. If you aren’t able to stock up yourself then see if you can have deliveries or ask a friend or family member to help.
“When indoors, have plenty of hot food and drinks to stay warm and try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18C, particularly if you are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over. If mobility isn’t an issue keep active as best you can. If you need to go out wear lots of thin layers and wear shoes with a good, slip-resistant grip to prevent any accidental falls. This is also a good time to think about how the bad weather may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older or very young or have pre-existing health conditions. These groups can be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold so think now what you could do to help.”
For more advice on winter wellbeing see www.nhs.uk/staywell.