GRITTING teams will be out tonight as hail and sleet are expected to bring icy patches in Gloucestershire.

Forecasters are predicting temperatures to fall to -1 tonight in some parts of the county so winter response crews went out from 5pm this evening.

Gritting will take place on all A, B and some C roads and routes to emergency services such as hospitals and fire stations.

The council's 33-strong team of gritters will continue to treat key routes throughout the week as the weather remains unsettled.

Strong south westerly winds and heavy rain is forecast on Wednesday with further showers on Thursday and a band of heavier rain through Friday into the weekend.

Gloucestershire Police are reminding the public to take care around flooded areas.

Superintendent Bridget Woodhall said: “The sustained heavy rain and strong winds will continue to take its toll on affected areas this week and into next.

“Many major trunk roads across the county could potentially be affected, causing disruption to road users and putting further pressure on the County’s road network.

“We will work along with the other emergency services and other agencies to check on resident’s welfare and ensure that business is as usual as it can be under the circumstances in Gloucestershire”

Inspector Owen Hughes of Tewkesbury Local Policing Area urged residents to check on vulnerable neighbours who may be affected by the weather.

He said: “The weather that we have been subjected to recently is testing for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for vulnerable members of society.

“We know that there is a real community spirit across this County, but it is really important that residents look out for their neighbours.

"We’d encourage you to knock on your neighbour’s door to check that they are safe and that have everything they need. That simple gesture could make a real difference.”

There are still some key roads closed because of the recent wet weather:

• Spiltalgate Lane, Cirencester

• A417 Maisemore between Over and Maisemore

• B4213 Hawbridge Road, Tirley

• B4234 Lower Lydbrook

• Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester

The following roads are now passable with care:

• A438 Ashchurch Road, near Morrisons in Tewkesbury

• A438 Ashchurch Road, near traffic lights to Junction 9 of the M5

• B4080 Bredon Road near White Bear Pub

• A38 Norton

• A38 Longford from Longford Lane to Longford Roundabout

Councillor Vernon Smith, Cabinet member for highways and flood said: “There are some 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.

"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.

"We will work hard to reopen roads if and when it is safe to do so.”