GRITTERS will be out around the county tonight as temperatures drop below freezing.

Now the floods are starting to subside, the county is preparing for a cold snap with temperatures dropping to -4 overnight.

With forecasters predicting that the cold will stay with us for the rest of the week and standing water still on the roads after the floods, the likelihood of ice forming is very high.

Drivers are being advised to take extreme care and if possible set off later to avoid the morning rush.

Gloucestershire Highways will be out gritting all main roads tonight at 7pm before the cold sets in and again at 4am ahead of rush hour.

With the current wet conditions, there’s no guarantee the gritting will prevent ice from forming and with the focus on main routes there will be many minor routes that are not treated and have standing water, which could freeze overnight.

Teams remain on standby to respond to flooding incidents and they will also be available to react to any problems the freezing weather causes.

People are reminded that there are still several main routes closed because of flooding so the icy temperatures will be an added problem for people travelling on the roads.

Jason Humm, Area Highways Manager, said: “There are still many key routes shut because of the flooding which is already causing disruption on the roads.

“With the freezing temperatures we’re expecting overnight, the roads tomorrow are likely to be icy in places and people need to be extra careful driving around.

“We will be going out twice with the gritters overnight and spot salting during rush hour and we’ll be able to make further runs if needed, to prevent as much ice forming as possible.

“However, with the amount of standing water on the roads, in reality we are going to see patches of ice forming and people need to be vigilant and drive to the road conditions.”

Gloucestershire Police are also advising motorists to take extra care.

Inspector Jason Keates, Traffic Management and Road Safety Inspector for the county, said: “With the possibility of low temperatures and icy roads, motorists are urged to be extra careful and follow simple tips to safeguard themselves and other road users.

“The highways authorities will take appropriate measures to keep roads treated and we will attend and assist people who get into serious difficulties, but it is important that we all do our bit to look after ourselves and our own safety.”

Many minor rural routes in low lying areas and close to swollen watercourses will be closed or passable only with extreme care and there are a number of residential roads that have local flooding issues. The list covers only roads critical to wider access across the county.