AFTER enduring the most prolonged bout of freezing weather since the Beast From The East in 2018, temperatures in South Lakeland are set to plummet to even icier depths before the weekend.

Since the weekend, thermometers have been showing temperatures as low as minus ten degrees celsius in many areas, with the cold air and ice rarely reaching above melting point.

Highs of zero are expected on Thursday and Friday, meaning icy conditions will make all but the region's main roads treacherous to drivers, with the usually expected 'daytime thaw' never arriving.

Cumbria and Fire Rescue has also issued a warning to the public about the dangers of cold water, with an increased number of water-related incidents throughout the county this last week, with more people accessing open water for leisure activities.

A balmy eight degrees is forecast by the Met Office for Sunday, when road conditions should improve.

Cumbria County Council claims their gritting teams cover around one-third of the county's roads, and has issued advice to drivers for the current cold snap.

READ MORE: Outrage as gritting halts for weeks due to council contract change

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

"We have a dedicated team of county council staff, who work diligently throughout the winter, often driving on treacherous roads to treat them, to make them safe for us all. 

"In Cumbria, we grit roughly one-third of the county's roads, which does mean that many are untreated and likely to be icy as it simply isn't possible for the crews to treat our entire network. 

"We treat roads on a priority basis - details of which can be found on our website and treat what many people would class as 'main roads. 

"Some smaller 'B' and 'C' roads and unclassified roads are not treated but do have grit heaps and grit bins for local people to utilise.  

"I'd like to stress that people plan their journey and take extra care when driving on untreated roads and drive to road conditions, not the speed limit. 

"Also, in especially icy and snowy conditions, consider if your journey is essential."