Highways teams work tirelessly to clear road network

Our amazing highways teams have been working continuously through the weekend dealing with the heavy snow fall and icy conditions on our roads.

This has been hugely challenging for crews, not only due to the conditions and heavy snow, but also because of the many abandoned cars that have affected our ability to access all of the network.

Highways teams are also still helping with the wider emergency response being co-ordinated by the multi-agency group led by the police, helping emergency services and support to get through to people cut-off in isolated communities and also helping utility companies to gain access to electric and water infrastructure for repairs after some residents had services disrupted.

By yesterday (Sunday) evening the area’s main priority routes were all deemed to be passable with care and our gritting teams are still out covering all priority 1 and 2 routes.

Further freezing temperatures overnight mean conditions on the highways network are still difficult, especially on rural roads, many of which are still only passable with extreme care.

All our highways teams are still out and are now tackling the wider road network, including ploughing and gritting to re-open Kirkstone Pass (see picture). Abandoned cars are still causing issues blocking access to some routes for agencies, as well as our gritters and snowploughs.

Anyone who had to leave a vehicle at the weekend and who can safely do so is now asked to please move it if it is causing an obstruction, which will help our crews get through to clear more roads.

All priority routes had been treated prior to the snow event on Saturday. When it became apparent the snowfall was significantly heavier than forecast and the weather warning was escalated by the Met Office to Amber on Saturday afternoon, teams were mobilised and reacted immediately to the incident.

Heavy snowfall in a sustained period caused significant disruption to the road network and highways brought in additional capability during the afternoon and the operation continued right through the night and all through Sunday and Sunday night.

52 members of staff and supporting partners and contractors helped with this initial effort and all available gritters and snow ploughs were deployed on the priority road network throughout the weekend.

Highways continued to increase resources and a further six heavy duty tractors, with ploughs, were deployed to some of the more difficult parts of the road network and we utilised our supply chain to provide six additional JCBs to accompany our gritters, to prevent losing these vital resources in areas with deep snow.

In total 34 vehicles have been involved in the response, including 20 gritters.

Please be aware that all our crews and resources are still deployed on the response to this major incident and we politely ask that requests in to the service are for genuine emergencies only at this time.

Thank you for your co-operation!

For more information on our winter road maintenance, including gritting priority routes see https://tinyurl.com/3m77j33a

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