Motorists could face worst road conditions in Norfolk for years as snow hits county
- Credit: Archant
Drivers in Norfolk are being urged to take care as road conditions they have not encountered for several years are set to sweep the county.
That is the warning from Norfolk County Council as the Beast from the East takes hold.
Motorists are being asked to plan their journeys ahead and to pack a snow kit of blankets, food, water and a shovel if travel is essential.
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Nick Tupper, Norfolk County Council's assistant director, highways, yesterday urged drivers to allow more time for their journeys and take extra care.
'We've been working to prepare for the days ahead and this has already seen our crews out gritting every day for the last seven days which means we've already got a good layer of salt on all our gritting routes', he said. 'If necessary we will fit snow ploughs to the gritters and we can call on local farmers to help with clearing snow on the minor road network.
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'It's a myth that snow won't settle on treated roads as heavy snow falling on a salted road causes a rapid drop in road surface temperature. Salt then becomes less effective at melting the snow and ice, so even treated roads can become snow covered.
'In severe cold weather when the temperature drops below approximately -7'C, even salt will not prevent the roads from icing, so people need to take extra care and make sure they drive to arrive.'
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The council currently has approximately 16,000 tonnes of salt stocked in the county which is enough for about 50 gritting runs. These stocks are replenished daily.
Highways England, which is responsible for gritting the A11 and A47, said it will treating its routes 'around the clock' but said it is still important to drive to the conditions.
Dan Holley, a meteorologist at Weatherquest, based in Norwich, said every day this week there's pretty much a chance of some snow.'
He added: 'But unlike in the past when it's been one event and then it's over, there will be various rounds of snow throughout the week.'
Green Flag, road assistance and recovery, has claimed there will be one breakdown every five seconds in the UK this weekend due to the cold weather with more than 110,000 breakdowns altogether.