Gritters at the ready to battle arctic blast
Gritters are using satellite technology for the first time to tackle icy roads
Councils are using global positioning systems to direct gritters to the worst roads and avoid those that have already been treated.
Yesterday saw Britain wake to some of the coldest temperatures so far this winter.
The Met Office station in Trawsgoed, near Aberystwyth, west Wales, recorded a frosty minus 5C (23F).
While London enjoyed comparative warmth at 6C, the north of England suffered a freezing start with Alnwick, Northumberland, recording minus 1C.
Councils say they are prepared for below zero temperatures on the roads.
An Arctic from the north-west is expected to bring icy winds and snow by the weekend.
Up to two inches are predicted in north-west England and north Wales with about eight inches in the Highlands.
We have enough [salt] stockpiled to cope with anything winter may throw at us
Staffordshire County Council, which has recently overhauled its 40-strong team of vehicles, has stockpiled 28,000 tons of salt.
Councillor Mark Deaville, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have enough stockpiled to cope with anything winter may throw at us.”
Lancashire County Council said its fleet of 49 gritters were out yesterday treating roads with some of their 30,000-ton salt stockpile.
In Sheffield, teams have 19 gritters, 19 snow ploughs and 15 tractor ploughs at the ready.
Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire has 25,000 tons of grit stored away in four different depots.
And North Yorkshire County Council has 55,000 tons of salt.
The Local Government Association said the majority of councils are now using GPS technology to guide their gritters to key routes.
And it said nine in 10 local authorities are either maintaining or increasing salt stock levels this winter.