Winter weather: 'We're doing all we can to keep area clear', say council as icy conditions take hold
MEN and machines have been battling the elements to keep North East Lincolnshire and beyond moving through the snow.
Following freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, the council has dispatched five gritters, three quad bikes and anything that can hold or spread grit – including the Fido street cleaning machine and tractors used for park maintenance – around the borough.
Treatment of the roads began at roughly 3pm on Monday and 4am yesterday, and will continue in this pattern for the duration of the bad weather.
"We have a bad weather alert and we are taking it extremely seriously," said Peter Wheatley, the portfolio holder for regeneration and environment at North East Lincolnshire Council.
"We are doing all we can to keep North East Lincolnshire clear.
"We have to prioritise the main routes because we have more than 600km of roads across the area and probably double that in pavements."
He called on the community to play their part too, adding: "Some people are unable to get out and about during these wintry weather conditions, so once again we urge residents to check on their neighbours.
"For vulnerable people, their priority is to keep warm.
"By checking that your neighbours have everything they need it will help to ensure that people don't risk a journey out of the house when they don't need to."
The council, in partnership with Balfour Beatty, is responsible for 607km of roads in the borough and each time the gritters turn out they treat 355km of the road network.
The council keeps salt stocks of 2,500 tonnes, which would typically last for a full winter season of treatments.
Stock is continually monitored to ensure services can respond to the conditions and a further delivery of 400 tonnes is scheduled for the end of the month.
A total of £232,000 is spent every year on winter services.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at NELC, said: "With temperatures set to remain low for the foreseeable future, it is envisaged that the snow will take some considerable time to melt and therefore freezing temperatures will cause problems underfoot and for road users.
"We urge everyone to drive sensibly and to the conditions.
"Our priority is always to ensure that the primary highway networks are clear to ensure essential and emergency services can operate effectively.
"Once these are running freely we can focus our efforts on secondary routes and other less highly trafficked areas.
"Isolated rural areas are often the worst affected communities, so we will be working closely with the parish councils and putting in place arrangements with subcontractors and farmers to help with snow clearance operations should conditions arise."