Staffordshire County Council’s gritting teams are again geared-up to deal with wintry weather expected to hit the county shortly.
Icy conditions are predicted for the north of the county in particular overnight and snow is predicted from late-morning onwards on Thursday.
But motorists and pedestrians are being advised that they still need to exercise caution, even on roads that seem to have been recently gritted.
“All hands will again be to the pump. Although far more of Staffordshire’s roads are gritted than the national average people still need to be very careful.
“Gritters cannot negotiate narrow side streets, and although we do our best to hand-grit pavements outside key locations like medical surgeries it is impossible to be everywhere. “ËœPlease be careful’ is the message.”
The county council has 120 staff operating 60 gritters around the clock. Staffordshire has invested in a 30,000 tonne grit stockpile – double that previously held, and invested in 12 brand new gritting vehicles for this winter.
With the cold snap set the continue and further snow fall predicted overnight and into the week, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging drivers to take extra care on the road.
Across the county, the fire service has attended 29 road traffic collisions in the past week, including early morning incidents when the roads are icy and visibility is restricted.
“During these icy conditions it’s really important for drivers to take their time and take extra care and try to stick to the main roads where possible. Make sure your vehicle is free from snow and ice, the windows are free from condensation and that you have adequate equipment, such as a scraper and de-icer, in the vehicle should it be required later in the day.
“Keep a safe distance away from the car in front of you and if conditions are treacherous it may be worth asking yourself if your journey is vital. If you are venturing out in poor driving conditions, make sure you have a warm blanket, some water and something to eat in the car as well as a fully charged mobile phone should you need to call for help.”
Out of the 29 road traffic collisions in the past seven days, nine took place over the weekend when the snow and ice was at its worst so far.
“Excessive speeds are in general a contributing factor in the majority of road traffic collisions, so it is essential that people re-evaluate the speeds they drive at when roads are icy.”
To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999. For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.