GRITTERS were out in force on Staffordshire’s roads this morning as the county prepared for heavy snow and blizzard conditions to come.
With the Met Office forecasting blankets of snow falling as deep as four inches and eight inches later this morning on higher ground the county council took the decision to salt at least 30 per cent of the roads in advance of the cold snap.
Highways boss county councillor Mike Maryon said: “We already routinely grit more roads than many other authorities, but we decided to salt as many other roads as we can before today’s heavy snow arrives.
“Over the coming days we will be doing everything we possibly can to keep the key roads open to allow people who need to travel to do so safely, but the message is very much one of not to travel unless you really have to,” he said. “Temperatures are expected to remain sub-zero for the next few days so our highways teams will be working around the clock in quite treacherous conditions to help keep the county on the move.”
He said it was important to remember grit would not dissolve the snow but it would prevent it from sticking and enable ongoing salting of routes.
The county council has a fleet of more than 50 gritters and 60 snowploughs based at six depots across Staffordshire and around 22,000 tonnes of salt in reserve for the remainder of the winter.
Several parish councils have joined the county council’s Ice Busters scheme which will allow side roads and footpaths in villages to be gritted.
“We salted more than 70 per cent of our roads ahead of this morning predicted snow fall and over the coming days the priority will be to target the main roads until the thaw sets in,” said Councillor Maryon.
“While bad weather always brings with it some level of disruption, we can all pull together in the next few days by showing a little more consideration whether this is on the road, helping in the community, clearing footpaths or just keeping a close eye on elderly neighbours.”