Council ready for big freeze

Council workers John Rowbotham and Andy Leight (right) at the Brenda Road salt barn
Council workers John Rowbotham and Andy Leight (right) at the Brenda Road salt barn

COUNCIL chiefs say they are ready for a predicted big freeze as temperatures set to plummet as winter sets in.

Weather experts are predicting the UK will be hit by a three-week cold snap that will bring freezing temperatures and snow.

The Met Office has put out a yellow alert for snow across the North-East over the weekend.

In Hartlepool temperatures are expected to fall to freezing point and snow and sleet showers are predicted on Sunday and Monday.

But transport chiefs at Hartlepool Borough Council say they are ready for anything the weather can hit them with and they have ample stocks of grit in reserve.

The gritting team at the council has already started regular runs to make the town’s roads safer and will be available as the weather worsens to keep the roads clear.

Mike Blair, the council’s highways, traffic and transport manager, said: “We are half way through the season and we are well prepared, well stocked with salt and we have no fears at this moment that the cold spell is going to cause us any problems. We normally keep about 1,500 tonnes in the store and we have currently got more than sufficient to face any cold spell predicted and we have good access to the salt providers.”

So far this winter the council has used 1,135 tonnes of road salt and gets regular top-ups during the season.

The council gets its salt from the Boulby Pot Ash, in Redcar, and the salt barn is continually re-stocked.

The first priority roads include the A689, York Road, Stockton Road and Catcote Road, with second priority being more minor roads around town. Teams spread salt around three hours before roads are expected to freeze.

Durham County Council has updated its winter maintenance plan to prepare for snow and icy weather that has seen the council store more than 42,000 tonnes of salt.

The council will treat 45 per cent of the highways network across the county, including in Peterlee and East Durham.

These priority routes typically include all A roads, most B roads, most bus routes, and other locations that are know to the council as problem areas.

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