Cold snap brings gritters out in force


Council winter service teams have been out in force after a cold snap brought ice and snow warnings for most of the UK.

Gale-force winds could also be on their way with gusts of up to 70mph expected at coastal areas in the south and west after roads were blocked today and rail services suspended in Scotland and a tornado was even reported in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Motorists have been warned to take care when travelling on untreated roads although thousands of gritters were on patrol today.

The Local Government Association said salt depots across the country were filled with 1.3 million tonnes of salt to cope with the sub-zero conditions.

Cllr Peter Box, the LGA's transport spokesman, said: ‘Gritters guided by GPS technology have been out treating roads this week to try and stay one step ahead of the weather with the forecasts predicting snow and ice to affect large parts of the country in the coming days.

‘Keeping the country moving will be a community effort as always with thousands of grit bins filled and volunteers ready to help people clear pavements, paths and side streets when needed.

'As well as gritting our roads and clearing snow, council teams are ready to provide a variety of services to help the vulnerable deal with severe winter weather. Staff will be checking in on vulnerable residents but we would also urge people to look in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours or relatives during any prolonged freezing weather. Calling in on someone who may be unable to ask for help can make all the difference.’

The cold snap could continue through Thursday into the weekend, the MET Office warned.

Met Office spokesman Jonathan Hunter told the media: ‘Tomorrow we may see wintry showers across the UK with sleet, snow and rain.

‘There may be strong winds tomorrow but easing through the day. On Friday and towards the weekend it will be really cold and we may see some snow showers in the north and at high levels.’

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