Gritters ready for action as forecasts predict snow and ice

Lancashire County Council's gritting teams are gearing up to keep the county moving following a forecast for icy roads overnight, and some snow on higher routes.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice for the region, with local forecasts for Lancashire predicting that rain showers this evening will gradually begin to turn to sleet and snow as temperatures fall.

Gritting crew at Burnley's highways depot

Gritting crew at Burnley's highways depot

All areas of the county are expected to be icy in the morning, however a few centimetres of snow is expected over higher ground, particularly in the east and north, with the possibility of some snow showers at lower levels during the night.

Lancashire's highways teams will be treating all the main gritting routes after the rain showers have passed later this evening, with crews staying on to patrol routes in the east and north throughout the night where snow is predicted.

County Coun. Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "This is the most significant wintry weather we've had so far this season, and I'd ask people to leave extra time for their journeys tomorrow morning, and take particular care on untreated routes.

"Our gritting teams will be treating the priority routes, which amount to around a third of all roads in the county, however we can't grit every road as this isn't practical, which is why people must always drive according to the conditions.

"It's important to remember that roads can remain icy even after they've been gritted, as it takes the action of traffic to mix the salt with the ice before it becomes fully effective.

"Our gritting teams will be doing their best to keep the roads moving, but everyone needs to do their bit to prepare and make sure they can manage when we get snow and ice. That could be simply by doing some basic checks on your vehicle or calling in on any vulnerable relatives and neighbours to see if they're okay in case they might struggle to get out in icy weather.

"I'd also ask people to please use grit bins responsibly. The bins are in locations where there is a particular hazard, and the grit is there to be used on the roads and pavements. Please don't take it for use on your driveway or paths around the home as it’s needed to make the roads safer."

Lancashire County Council has a fleet of 45 frontline gritters which can treat the 1,500 miles of the county council's priority road network within around four hours, but may take longer in severe conditions.

For more information about gritting in Lancashire, and what you can do to prepare for winter, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/winter, follow us on Twitter for news and updates at www.twitter.com/lancashirecc or Facebook www.facebook.com/lancashirecc.