Essex County Council is urging residents to travel with extra caution as icy conditions are expected over the weekend.

Gritters will be out across the county from tonight as temperatures are expected to fall below zero and roads could be particularly hazardous due to the heavy rainfall over the past few days, which has led to flooding and surface water in some parts.

Derrick Louis, councillor for highways and transportation, said: "With icy conditions set to continue over the weekend and into next week we are keeping a close on weather forecasts. Our fleet of gritting vehicles will be on standby to treat the main road network as and when they are required.

"I urge motorists to drive with extra caution at this time, checking weather forecasts and the condition of their cars before they leave."

In the event of severe weather residents are advised to take extra care if driving, and only travel if it is necessary.

It residents do need to travel then they should check the condition of their car tyres and battery before they leave, and pack an emergency kit in case they get stuck for a while containing items like warm clothing, bottled water, a mobile phone and a torch.

For further advice and announcements of gritting decisions, visit the Essex County Council winter website.