Overnight snow in Oxfordshire
With snow having fallen in Oxfordshire and other areas of southern England overnight the gritters have been out three times and the snowploughs have been attached to them for the first time this Winter. A fourth run is planned this morning.
The Met Office had issued an "Amber" alert for areas including Oxford and south and south-east of the county but this has now been downgraded to "yellow" and this is due to expire at 1pm. Oxfordshire's area of the Chilterns is the most snow-affected area of the county.
Workers are being deployed to town centres and other community areas to shift snow. The snow is forecast to continue until mid-morning.
Here is the Oxfordshire County Council webpage that schools update if they decide to close as a result of weather or for other reasons. If any schools have decided to close today, they are asked to list the details of that closure here
We grit all A-roads, B-roads and some C-roads. Highways England cover the A34, M40 and A43. This amounts to 1200 miles per gritting run which is the equivalent of London to Iceland. Information on our gritting operation can be found here .
Severe weather desk
During “severe weather events”, which include winter weather like snow or ice, gales/storms, heavy rain,etc. we operate a Severe Weather desk.
Last night we operated a severe weather desk with staff at work overnight. It will continue to operate until the weather conditions abate. This enables round the clock office-based staffing so that there is always a team on hand monitoring and making decisions and passing on crucial information to gritting teams and others.
The desk is always set up in our traffic control centre in Kidlington, where we have access to the many CCTV camera images from across the county, and we can feed direct reports in to our colleague from BBC Radio Oxford who delivers the peak hour travel news. The desk is usually in place for as long as the prevailing conditions persist or for as long as it takes to clear the aftermath.
Monitoring the weather
The Met Office issues weather warnings. In Oxfordshire we had the lowest "yellow" warning for snow and ice. Some areas further west had an "amber" warning. The relevant Met Office page is here