With snow predicted overnight tonight, Gloucestershire County Council is preparing its team of gritters for action. Gritters will be out treating the roads this afternoon ahead of evening rush hour and again after midnight. The 34-strong army will be going out all across the county as the forecast is below freezing throughout Gloucestershire.
Weather experts are predicting snow to reach Gloucestershire from the East just after midnight.
It is expected to continue until early morning with snowfall between two and five centimeters by midday tomorrow, particularly on higher ground. Throughout the rest of the week, temperatures are not expected to rise much above freezing and further snow is possible on Wednesday.
Driving conditions are likely to be icy in early mornings and late evenings so motorists are advised to take care. Residents are advised to check out guidance on clearing their own driveways and pavements of snow and ice on www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter if they feel it is necessary.
Cllr Stan Waddington, cabinet member for environment, said: “We’ve already seen one of the coldest Novembers on record and it would appear now that winter is really upon us. “While snow is looking likely, at the moment we’re not expecting a huge amount so sending our gritters out just before it’s due to hit the county is the best option. “As always, we will do our best to keep the roads open but motorists are asked to take care when driving and residents are urged to do their bit to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours during this freezing weather.”
• At the risk of wintry weather we salt 1,000 miles of roads making up our ‘Primary Network’ of vital routes to larger settlements and access to emergency services. This is around a third of our road network.
• In severe conditions if time and resources are available a ‘Secondary Network’ made up of regular bus routes may also be salted.
• We don’t salt the A417, A419, A40 or M5 motorway, which is managed by the Highways Agency.
• We don’t just salt when the weather gets cold – we use expert weather advice and scientific evidence to determine when we should send the gritters out.
• Each community has volunteers operating snow ploughs or telling us about conditions in outlying villages during very severe weather.
Issued by Lisa Bonnell, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425226
5th January 2010 16.00pm
Gloucestershire County Council is encouraging people to be prepared for heavy snow overnight.
The Met Office is predicting up to15 cms of snow will hit the county this afternoon and continue falling well into tomorrow.
The council is doing all it can to keep the county moving including sending out its snow ploughs to clear snow and its 34 teams of gritters to help prevent ice forming on the roads.
But members of the public are being urged to take their own precautions as well.
People are advised to not to leave work too late tonight and if possible make arrangements to start work later in the morning.
For those who are able to work from home, the council is advising them to take this option tomorrow and only use the car if it is essential. All routes are open and passable with care at the moment and bus operators will be making decisions locally so passengers should check if their service is running.
More than 70 schools across the county are currently closed because of the adverse weather. The decision to close schools will be taken by each headteacher individually. Parents and carers are advised to use www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/closedschools; www.glosclosedschools.com or www.glosclosedschools.co.uk to check if their child’s school is open before setting out tomorrow morning.
They can also listen to local radio stations for further information.
People are also urged to be a good neighbour and as the cold weather sets in remember to check that older and vulnerable people in our communities are safe and well. Gloucestershire County Council’s Village Agents will be getting out and about more than usual, checking people are comfortable, warm and well supplied with food and drink.
If you have any concerns about an older or vulnerable person, contact the county council’s Adult Helpdesk on 01452 426868. The web address is www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/keepwarm
Cllr Stan Waddington, cabinet member for environment, said: “Over the next 24 hours we’re expecting some pretty heavy snow to fall across the county and people have to be prepared. “Our gritting teams are working as hard as possible to keep the roads clear, but I would encourage people to be responsible, look out for each other and only drive if it’s essential. “If you have to go out in the car, take extra care, check www.gloucestershire.gov.uk and listen to your local radio station in advance to plan your journey.”
For tips on driving safer in winter visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/winter