Temperatures are set to plummet in the north-east of Scotland tonight with motorists urged to be wary of ice on the roads on Christmas Day.
A Met Office severe weather warning has been put in place with forecasters warning that “widespread” ice will be “very slow to thaw” on surfaces tomorrow.
However, a team of around 50 Aberdeenshire road workers will be on-call to tackle the freezing conditions tomorrow.
Roads, pavements and other surfaces will be affected by the ice, while wintry snow showers are set to continue in the hills throughout the evening.
With many of the north-east’s roads already wet and temperatures set to drop below freezing, Aberdeenshire Council gritting crews will be treating roads in the early hours of tomorrow.
Footway gritters will also be in force in several towns where required.
Council roads workers were also deployed to grit north-east roads at 3.30pm today.
Philip McKay, head of roads an landscape services at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Unfortunately the current weather forecast is such that we will have to ask our winter maintenance crews to turn out for duty tomorrow morning.
“The thirty-two frontline gritters will be out on main routes by 5.30am, which should be early enough for general traffic but late enough to miss Santa as he delivers the last few of his presents.
“While Christmas Day is not a normal commuting day, we are mindful many people still have to travel to be with family and friends later in the day.
“Conditions may well be changeable across the network and I would ask road users and pedestrians to take extra care and leave a bit of extra time for their journeys.”
He added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the team that will give up some of their Christmas Day to ensure others have a road network that is as safe as it can be.
“Their level of commitment and professionalism is of the highest order, and I am sure they would appreciate a wave and a ‘Thank you’ from anyone they pass on Christmas morning.”
More information on Aberdeenshire’s winter maintenance can be found at: www.bit.ly/TFFEcm