With sleet and snow showers forecast for many parts of the county tonight, Lancashire County Council is reminding people to make sure they’re prepared for the colder months to come.
Following a mild few weeks since being on standby since the start of October, the council’s gritting teams have been in action a handful of times over recent days as overnight temperatures have fallen around freezing.
Gritting crews will be treating all priority routes in the east of the county tonight as wintry showers are forecast mainly over higher ground with the potential for roads to become icy. Most routes elsewhere will also be treated due to the forecast for wintry showers except for parts of central and west Lancashire which are forecast to avoid them.
Lancashire County Council has a fleet of 45 frontline gritters which can treat the 1,800 miles of the county council’s priority road network within around four hours, but may take longer in severe conditions.
The priority network which is gritted whenever a freeze is forecast makes up around a third of all roads in the county. It includes non-trunk motorways and A and B roads which are the most essential for travel, along with single routes in and out of villages. The focus is on doing everything possible to keep traffic moving on priority roads, however it’s important that people drive to the conditions at all times as not all roads are treated, and even roads which have been gritted can remain icy.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said “We have around 24,000 tonnes of grit in stock for the coming winter and our highways teams have been busy preparing over recent weeks, ensuring the gritters are serviced and ready, and the grit bins are full.
“The first cold spell of the season is a good reminder to all of us to make sure that we’re prepared – whether that’s checking your vehicle by stocking up on screen wash and de-icer, or buying salt from a DIY store to treat any paths around your home.
“We have over 2,600 grit bins and salt heaps across the county, and I’d ask people to make use of them to keep the roads safe, but to use the grit sparingly and responsibly a little should go a long way. Please also remember that it’s for use on the roads, not private paths or driveways, as this can mean there’s none left when it’s really needed”.
Everyone is also being asked to particularly keep in touch with vulnerable relatives, friends, and neighbours this winter due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, making sure they’re staying warm and well, and keeping connected. You can find more advice on this at lancashire.gov.uk/winter/keeping-well.