Rotherham’s geared up for winter!Published Thursday, 16th November 2017
With the weather expected to become colder over the coming weeks Rotherham Council is reassuring residents that it is prepared for winter weather.
The winter salting programme carried out by the Council’s highways team ensures that over 300 miles of the borough’s busiest roads, including all main bus routes, are treated with salt in advance of any forecast ice or snow.
Ten priority routes are treated as a precautionary measure before forecast ice or snow occurs, which takes the gritting teams up to three hours to complete.
In the event of heavy snowfall, once traffic on the priority routes is flowing freely, all available resources are focused on community routes and estate roads across the borough.
Colin Knight, the Council’s Head of Service for Highways, said: “Once the priority routes are clear, we make every effort to respond to individual requests for assistance received from residents.
“As well as clearing the roads, we also have hand-salting teams on hand to clear snow and ice from areas where people are most at risk - such as near schools, sheltered housing and busier footways.
“In the event of severe snowfall, we’d urge motorists to only travel when it’s absolutely necessary. Our gritting crews need time to do their job - as well as space. If everyone is trying to drive when it starts to snow, then the spreaders and snowploughs cannot do their job properly.”
Over 5,000 tonnes of rock salt is currently stockpiled in the purpose-built salt barn at the Council's Hellaby depot. Even though 5,000 tonnes is more than enough to keep the town’s main routes moving for most of the winter, the salt level is monitored throughout the winter and, if needs be, restocking is carried out.
Ten state-of-the-art salting lorries, more commonly known as gritters, will be ready to deliver the salt to Rotherham’s roads, driven by a team of 40 City and Guilds qualified drivers who are on stand-by 24 hours a day, seven days a week between November and March.
The community can help when the worst weather hits by salting their own local area from over 370 recently-refilled salt bins which have placed at known trouble spots and steep locations. To assist the Council’s salting teams, volunteers and several Parish Councils will also be helping to clear snow in their communities.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, Cllr Emma Hoddinott, said: “Our Love Where You Live programme welcomes volunteer litter pickers from the local community, but we are also on the lookout for snow wardens who can assist in their area with the spreading of salt when severe weather hits.
“We’ll provide all the equipment you need and the necessary training – just get in touch with us to sign up.”
To find out more about becoming a volunteer snow warden, visit the website.
Over the winter season regular Tweets will be sent out from the Council’s Twitter feed, @RMBCPress, keeping members of the public informed of weather conditions and the works being carried out. Look for the hashtag #SYGrit.
For more information and to keep up to date with any services affected in the event of bad weather, go to the Winter webpage.