General, Improving our roads, Transport

Prepared for snow and ice

A gritter being loaded with salt at Surrey County Council's Merrow depot, near Guildford.

A mountain of salt, a fleet of gritters and an army of volunteers are ready to be called on by Surrey County Council over the coming days, as forecasters predict sleet and snow.

Surrey County Council has stockpiled 17,000 tonnes of salt – 30% more than last year – to be used by its 40-plus gritters on major roads.

The mountain of salt allows the county council to regularly treat around 110 extra miles of road – the equivalent of nearly 5,300 extra miles of gritting runs across an average winter.

The help of an extra 15 farmers with ploughs has been enlisted to bring the total to 50, while the support of Surrey 4×4 Response, whose 70 volunteers use their vehicles to help people get around in harsh weather, has been secured together with organisations including the Salvation Army.

Highways teams have filled the county council’s 1,743 grit bins to let local people treat roads and pavements to benefit their communities.

Surrey’s near 400 schools are playing their part with work and advice for pupils available online. Individual schools make their own decisions to open or close and parents should contact their child’s school directly or visit the school’s website for information if there is a severe cold snap.

All school closures will be confirmed on the county council’s website, along with any county council building closures or disruption to library services.

Social workers are standing by to visit vulnerable people to make sure they are safe and residents have been asked to check on neighbours, friends and family as part of the council’s efforts to spread a message of teamwork.

Residents can find further local information on the Surrey Alert website. Traffic updates are available on the BBC’s website and the council has launched a twitter feed with BBC Surrey to provide updates on gritting activity, roadworks, road closures and traffic information.

Surrey County Council's quad bike gritter will treat hard to reach areas.

Details about bus services and school transport can be found on the county council website.

Surrey leader David Hodge said: “Getting through any severe winter weather requires us all to play our part.

“The county council has been planning for many months to make sure it helps to keep the road network moving as much as possible, continues providing services to the most vulnerable and carries on providing grit for residents to spread in their community.

“But the truth is we cannot do everything. If residents and communities support us, things will be much better for the county as a whole.

“If residents help us by looking out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and clearing snow away around their own properties, things will hopefully be much easier for everyone. Likewise, if local businesses get together to prepare for the winter, they will no doubt limit the impact of any severe weather.”

ENDS

For more information contact senior media relations officer James Oxley on james.oxley@surreycc.gov.uk or Kevin Richardson on kevin.richardson@surreycc.gov.uk

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