Lancashire’s gritting crews are ready for action over the coming days following forecasts for sleet, snow and icy conditions to hit the county.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for snow and ice affecting northern and central regions of the UK from the early hours of Friday and through the weekend.
Lancashire’s 45-strong frontline fleet have already started gritting the roads and will continue this evening (Thursday 7 December) and throughout the night ahead of sleet and snow due to hit the county.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re well prepared for whatever the weather might have in store for us this winter with plenty of grit in stock and our gritting crews on standby for whenever they’re needed. We experienced a short cold snap a couple of weeks ago, but it’s due to be even colder over the coming days with forecasts for sleet and snow.
“We have the resources to treat all the A roads, all B roads, and some C roads, which adds up to around 1,500 miles – about a third of the total in Lancashire – within 4 hours of a freeze being forecast.
“However, people must remember that just because a road has been gritted it doesn’t mean it won’t be icy as it takes time and the action of tyres to mix the salt with the ice and make it work by lowering the temperature at which the water freezes. I’d ask people to use their judgement as to whether their journey is necessary. If you do decide to travel, drive according to the conditions and be aware that the state of the road can change over even relatively short distances.
“Our primary aim is to always keep the main routes moving to ensure people and goods can get where they need to go, and in severe conditions we can call on extra resources including agricultural contractors to plough rural routes and try to keep access open to more remote areas.”
There’s a wealth of advice on Lancashire County Council’s website about what to do when cold weather hits. This includes advice on removing ice and snow from the pavement outside your property, keeping warm and well, and tips for safer driving and preparing your vehicle. You can also check which roads are gritted, and link to weather forecasts at www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter. Follow #lancswinter on Twitter for real-time gritting updates.