South Tyneside Prepared for Cold Spell
Residents and motorists in South Tyneside are being urged to take extra care on the roads ahead of the icy conditions forecast over the next 24 hours.
With low temperatures expected this evening (Wednesday 5 January) and snow forecast tomorrow, South Tyneside Council has been pre-gritting the Borough's priority routes to help minimise the impact of any snow and ice and to keep the Borough moving.
Operations focus on major roads, bus routes and steep banks as well as priority footpaths in shopping areas, around schools and on steps and footbridges. Priority routes cover over 311kms of carriageway and take around 2.5 hours to treat with salt.
Motorists are encouraged to take extra care and drive according to the conditions.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "We have plans in place to deal with this type of weather to help keep residents safe and to reduce the impact on our communities as much as we can.
"Officers from across the Council and South Tyneside Homes react quickly to any sudden changes in temperatures and are focused on keeping priority routes clear. They work in difficult conditions clearing snow and ice to ensure walkways are safe for the public to use and so that vulnerable people can get out and about safely.
"We always pre-salt our priority routes ahead of ice and snow coming, with pre-salt runs triggered by advance weather forecasts from the Meteogroup. Though it is important to note that the effect of rock salt depends to a great extent on moving traffic to make it work effectively - it is not an immediate fix.
"Our highways maintenance team will continue to clear roads and footpaths of snow and ice for as long as is needed to keep disruption to a minimum, which is good news for households, communities, school runs and businesses. However, we would like to remind people that we must clear our planned routes first and would ask for patience during these times."
South Tyneside Council operates a night shift from 1 November to 31 March and has a fleet of five gritting wagons. There are also three pedestrian-operated salt spreaders and 20 hand salters for hard-to-reach footway areas.
The Council also maintains more than 200 grit bins that are used to help clear footpaths, shopping centres and anywhere which may be hazardous to the public in the event of ice and snow. These bins are available across the Borough to assist Council staff in their gritting operations and are not for private use.
Motorists are advised to take greater care than normal in winter driving conditions and to check the local weather forecasts and information websites.
For further details about gritting routes, grit bin locations and a wide range of winter-related advice and information, visit South Tyneside Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/winterweather or call the Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.
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The latest weather updates are available at www.metoffice.gov.uk
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