Gritters tackle Winter that refuses to go away
Oxfordshire County Council’s gritters are out on the roads yet again this evening (Sunday) with temperatures remaining very low and a risk of icy conditions continuing into the morning.
This follows a busy night for our drivers who completed several runs from Saturday into Sunday, including one at 4am.
Most parts of Oxfordshire woke up to a covering of snow on Sunday - though the impact of the 'mini' Beast From The East hasn't been as severe as its big brother a few weeks ago.
A Met Office warning for snow and ice remains in place, with further snow showers affecting the county this evening.
The council's gritting teams have again been working round the clock, having already hit the roads on more than 60 occasions this Winter including the first few days of March during extensive snowfall that hit the west of the county particularly badly.
The council covers 1,200 miles in a single gritting run covering all A-roads, B-roads and some C-roads. Highways England covers the A34, M40 and A43. Gritters are sent out when the road surface temperature is forecast to dip below 0.5C. Snowploughs can be attached to gritters if snow accumulates to a sufficient depth.
Drive to the conditions
Area Group Opertations Manager Paul Wilson said: “The aim is always the same - to have the main roads in as safe a condition as possible. Regardless of whether it’s November, mid-January or months that people would consider as Spring, we’ll continue to work around the clock to make roads as safe as we can. It should however be pointed out that gritting is not a magic elixir that prevents the driving hazards that winter brings. It lessens them – it does not eliminate them. Our advice is always that people should drive to the conditions. Don’t drive like you would in June or July. It’s common sense really - but it’s such an important message.”
The council covers 1,200 miles in one gritting run, the equivalent distance of London to Iceland. This covers all A-roads, B-roads and some C-roads in the county. Highways England cover the A34, A43 and M40.
To read about the gritting winter operation so far this year through the eyes of our experienced gritter driver Dave Primrose read here .
For expert advice from our Fire and Rescue Service on road safety see these tips
Should any schools decide to close due to cold weather/snow, they will be listed here. The council relies on schools to notify a closure for that to be added to this list.
Stay warm and look after yourself
There is a direct link between cold winter weather and the higher number of deaths, heart attacks and strokes among older people and others in at-risk groups. Here's advice from our public health team on helping yourself and assisting vulnerable people to stay warm.
Met Office weather warnings
The Met Office is updating its weather warnings on a regular basis. These can be found here
More specific information about gritting routes can be found here