Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow Stories (3)

I've just received an update from the officers regarding gritting around the Borough.

The Council has around 400 tonnes of salt in store, with more deliveries being received each day. About 200 tonnes can be spread each day if needed.

With further prolonged periods of snow and ice forecast, it is essential that salt stocks are preserved, in case some deliveries are not made as promised.

Salt will therefore be prioritised on gritting the main highway network and the town centre. This is in line with practice adopted by many other local authorities in the North East.

I've also received an update from the Durham and Darlington Fire Authority - it is using its vehicles to support ambulance crews access snow-bound residents in distress. Trained drivers from the Fire Service will meet the ambulance crews where driving conditions have become too hazardous for ambulances and take them incidents in 4x4 vehicles.

The Service has 16 4x4 vehicles available for use throughout Durham and Darlington. In addition, the 7 new fire appliances recently introduced into the fleet are fitted with anti-skid technology. This has resulted in the service safely attending 287 incidents since the 18th December 2009, when the snow first hit the region.

A worrying trend is that the number of raod traffic collisions has almost doubled from 37 last year to 67 this year, primarily due to the hazardous driving conditions. DDFRA is advising drivers to do the following;

Drivers should carry a shovel, warm clothing and a fully charged mobile phone.

In the current waether, it is best that you avoid any unecessary journeys.

If your journey is unavoidable, take extra care when driving, keeping your speed low to allow for additional braking distances and dissiculty in manoevrring yiour vehicle if confronted with an emergency situation.


Anonymous said...

PC George Dixon, Dock Green Police says.....

Sorry we can't help you any more. Mind how you go. Evenin' all.

Anonymous said...

Messages from the Walmington on Sea Platoon, Home Guard.

Dont panic.

We are all doomed.

Anonymous said...

Bleedin marvelous isn't it Councillor?

A bit of snow and the country grids to a halt. The lunatics have really taken over the asylum.

Anonymous said...

Jack Frost says....

Isn't it a fact there has been an almighty cock up over the ordering of grit and you are putting the best spin you can on it.

Anonymous said...

I blame global warming for all this.

ianh said...

Travelling from hurworth to richmond every day what is most alarming is the appalling standard of driving causing much of the diruption.
Drivers either going so slow and eratically that they cause massive congestion to drivers still doing 80-90 on the a1 in sub-zero conditions with blcak ice prevalant.

I suppose due to so many mild winters few drivers have developed the skills to cope with these conditions. My own daughter only passed her test 2 yrs ago and was very nervous whent he snow arrived before christmas. I took her to a quiet car park and spent at least an hour or so getting her familier with how to drive if necesary in snowy conditions.

I know many are quick to attack councils for not being prepared with gritting etc, and i too am not at all happy with the service provided to the rural areas.
However, given how few very cold winters we get i think it would be folly to spend millions every yr on additional services for a 1 in 30yr chance of severe weather.

ianw said...

Once again I must agree with Ian H seldom though we do, I too believe that the increase of accidents is greatly raised by poor driving ability's of many motorist.
Simply brake earlier and gentler, don't wheel spin away you are just polishing it for yourself and the next driver.
I also agree with him that after 3 weeks we have seen a gritter out here in globally warmed Hurworth and it was long over due.
The benefit of coming from Tow Law where we all know "propper snow"

miketually said...

I'm about to agree with Ian about something to do with cars and driving! This may never happen again.

Why is it that even though I don't (and can't) drive, I still know high gears and low revs are the way to drive on snow and ice, yet I keep seeing people revving away with their wheels spinning?

ianw said...

Cheers Mike, I have wrote the date down ;)

The answer is ignorance of driving in adverse conditions, as Ian H says anyone unsure should find an empty car park and go skid about and get the feel for vehicle control in such situations, it will help teach traction control and feeling and controlling skids should you get into one.

Either that or spend £70K on a Range Rover with traction and descent control and remain ignorant!