January 18, 2019

Too cold for grit: RAC warns road salt won’t work as Britain faces -15C mega freeze

BRITAIN’S roads could be like ice rinks in the face of this weekend’s -15C mega freeze, say experts.

Motorists are facing potentially deadly conditions because temperatures are set to plunge so low that gritting will be “virtually ineffective”.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis warned that road salt becomes less effective at -5C.

And he added: “Extreme cold can stop salt working – below about -10C, gritting cannot prevent roads from freezing over.”

AA spokesman Max Holdstock said: “While we can expect main roads and motorways to be well salted, that won’t necessarily apply to side roads or to smaller country roads.”

Risk The Met Office last night upgraded their cold weather health alert to Level 3 – meaning severe wintry conditions are expected which could bring a risk to life for the elderly or vulnerable

It warns of severe cold, icy conditions and heavy snow as far south as Wales, Kent and the West Country until next Tuesday.

A Met Office spokesman said: “This could increase the health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt the delivery of services.”

Gritters were already out in force in many areas last night.

Temperatures dipped to -4.8C (23F) in Scotland on Wednesday night as heavy snow blanketed the region, sparking warnings not to travel unless necessary.

The mercury is expected to hover around the -5C (23F) mark in the north today with temperatures close to freezing elsewhere

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